Fake Snakes and Weird Wizards: Here's Hank, Book 4
Kind boy tries to cheer up sister in funny, relatable story.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fake Snakes and Weird Wizards is the fourth book in Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver's series featuring second-grader Hank, who's also the hero of the Hank Zipzer series for older readers. The issues in this series are realistic and relatable; in this story, Hank's family can't splurge on hiring entertainment for a birthday party. The text is printed in a typeface designed to be easier for people with dyslexia to read.
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What's the Story?
Second-grader Hank Zipzer hates reptiles and is often annoyed by his sister, Emily. But when she's brokenhearted that she can't have a reptile show at her seventh birthday party, Hank feels sorry for her. To cheer her up, he promises her the Westside Wizard will be able to produce a snake out of thin air and amaze her friends. The problem is that there is no Westside Wizard -- Hank made him up. With help from his friends, Hank disguises himself as a wizard and tries to learn the magic trick. He has a hard time learning new things, though, and magic tricks are no exception. As the birthday party draws nearer, Hank realizes pulling this off will be trickier than he realized.
Is It Any Good?
As with the other books in this fun series, the characters are realistic and relatable. FAKE SNAKES AND WEIRD WIZARDS: HERE'S HANK, BOOK 4 shows Hank Zipzer going to great lengths to try to make his sister's birthday the best day ever. Resilient as ever, Hank pushes himself outside his comfort zone to find success. Hank is funny and self-deprecating, and he needs other people -- such as his friends, his grandfather, and even the reptile wrangler -- to point out his considerable strengths. The overall tone is warm and engaging, with gentle humor and an understanding of the love and friction between siblings.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Hank's efforts to make his sister happy. What other stories have you read with brothers and sisters who look out for each other?
When have you mastered something difficult by practicing?
Do you think it was fair for Emily to be so upset with Hank at her party?
- Authors: Henry Winkler, Lin Oliver
- Illustrator: Scott Garrett
- Genre: Family Life
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
- Publication date: February 10, 2015
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 6 - 8
- Number of pages: 128
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: October 30, 2020
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