Harry the Poisonous Centipede Review


Harry the Poisonous Centipede, published in 1996, is a squirmingly engaging and hilarious book written by British author Lynne Reid Banks. Banks does a marvelous job of weaving a gripping tale based on something the thought of which will only make you squirm! But Harry becomes a friend as you turn the pages – you can’t help but adore him for the unconditional love he has for his Mama and when you see him in a perilous situation, you hold your breath and wish that he finds a lucky escape! What sweetens the deal is the fact that this engaging tale has been illustrated by the incomparable Tony Ross. What could be squirmish has turned to absolutely adorable. One look at those widespread eyes and you fall in love with little Harry.

The story itself is simple and uncomplicated. Harry (or “Hxzltl” if you had to write his name in Centipedesh – the centipede’s language) is a young centipede who lives underground with his mother, Belinda, who dotes on him as he’s the only one out of his siblings who didn’t leave her.

Harry is the star of Belinda’s life but there are somethings which he knows that he cannot negotiate for – going up an ominous looking pipe which leads to the house of “hoo-mins” (that’s humans just in case you don’t understand Centipedesh). So what happens when Harry and his best friend, George, who is a rebel and a thrill-seeker, decide to peep into the world of humans? Will they discover something exciting there? More importantly, will they find their way back home?

Pick up Harry the Poisonous Centipede to enjoy a big little tale which will surely make you smile. J