Friday, March 6, 2015

PPBF: The Trouble With Henriette!

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

The Trouble with Henriette!
By the husband and wife team
of Wende and Harry Devlin
The Trouble with Henriette!
Written and Illustrated by Wende and Harry Devlin
Simon & Schuster, 1995
Ages 3 and up

culture, pets

Grandfather's farm truck sputtered into the big city. Putt-putt-putt.

Maybe this is the worst day of my life, thought Jolie, squeezed between Grandfather and her truffle hound, Henriette. Jolie hugged Henriette close. Today, she was going to lose her dog.

Grandfather needs a good hound to hunt for truffles to sell to the fancy restaurants of Paris. Jolie's friend and pet Henriette seems to have lost her ability to scent the truffles. Now grandfather must sell Henriette to buy another dog. When Henriette escapes, she leads them on a chase through the elegant Hotel Eclair. Henriette may find truffles, but she also finds trouble with a capital "T." Jolie must convince her grandfather, the hotel manager, and the restaurant's most important guests that Henriette is worth her weight in truffles.

What I Love:
I love the work of this dynamic duo. Their honest illustrations and clever POV make the pictures energetic. Below the surface of the obvious dilemma (a girl about to lose her dog) is the more subtle theme of the relationship between the grandfather and Jolie. He is blinded by his own opinion and fails to see that a little girl may have the solution to his problems. I was immediately drawn to the unusual story elements. I thought only pigs hunted truffles! Here is an example a spread from the book.

Henriette invades the Hotel Eclair!
Henriette disappears into the restaurant.

1. What is a truffle? Learn more from the Mycological (mushroom) Society of San Francisco or the North American Truffling Society.
2. Investigate the life of real truffle hunting dogs at Modern Farmer.
I'm told they taste delicious.
3. Cook up a new taste with Simply Recipe's potato-onion dish, flavored with truffle oil.
4.  If truffle oil is out of your price range, try these adorable meringue mushrooms instead.
5. Fill your house with origami mushrooms courtesy of Krokotak and turn your next snowy day into a truffle hunt.
6. You'll find fun activities and facts about France at the Kids' World Travel Guide. All that and picture book recommendations, too at Travel For Kids.
7. On America's west coast? Plan to visit the Oregon Truffle Festival.
8. Then check out these and other Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Fats
Reviewed by Kirsten

Reviewed by Richa

Another favorite
by Wende & Harry Devlin
Reviewed by Barbara
Reviewed by Julie

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for March 6, 2015 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. Love the cover! The story sounds entertaining and educational. Love that it's 20 yrs old. Is the writing style longer? Imagine Henriette finds her truffles, but in a new place. Great pick.

    1. I didn't do a word count, but the text is pretty short for a book of the 90's. I'm going to do a full-scale breakdown for ReFoReMo, so I'll keep you posted.

  2. Well, this looks terrific!! I don't know anything about truffles, although I have actually heard of truffle sniffing dogs. Dog noses can sniff out just about anything!!! Mine is especially suited to tennis balls and french fries! I'll have to sniff out this book!! Thanks!!

    1. Thanks. Maybe you can share it with all your reading buddies.

  3. I've made chocolate truffles before but they don't sound like the same thing as in your PPBF book.

    1. Nope. I think I prefer the chocolate kind. I'm good at sniffing those out!

  4. I'm unfamiliar with the wife/husband team and their books. It looks like this would have been a good one. (Nice to meet you too!)

    1. Please tell you crit group (again) how helpful they were and thanks to you all!

  5. a truffle-sniffing dog, a hotel that sounds like a pastry, and a girl... sounds like trouble to me. What fun.

    1. Maybe I should have included a recipe for eclairs instead. Yum!


Thank-you for taking time to share your thoughts!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.