Each February our head of school tells the story of her college roommate who didn’t leave their room very often during the month of February. When she did, she wore black. Although I understand this reaction to the “February Cranks,” I think Henry’s parents have a more constructive answer. I’m referring to Henry of Henry and Mudge fame. I don’t know what number this delightful “new-reader-friendly” series is up to now, but my favorite will always be number 11 – Henry and Mudge and the Long Weekend. When my now 16-year-old son was young, we would always pull this book out during President’s Day weekend. It’s the perfect antidote when everyone is bored by the cold weather, and the games that were fun during December and January have lost their luster.
In this story, Henry has a bad case of the “February Cranks,” but his parents happen to have a refrigerator box that would make a perfect castle. But here’s the great thing about this book. You don’t need to have a big box to turn into a castle for it to turn the cranks into smiles. The book is about a family having fun together – without a television or a computer game or any other electronic device. We may have built something out of blocks or Legos instead of a box, but this is the story that inspired us to hang in there, start thinking about spring, and like Henry and his parents, order a pizza!