Fake Snakes, Real Love

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“Here’s Hank: Fake Snakes and Weird Wizards,” the fourth book in the Here’s Hank series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, is a funny and touching story about an older brother

“Here’s Hank: Fake Snakes and Weird Wizards,” the fourth book in the Here’s Hank series by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, is a funny and touching story about an older brother trying to make his annoying sister’s birthday the best it can be.

The story starts when second-grader Hank Zipzer is at a street fair with his family. His first-grade sister, Emily, sees a reptile show booth. When she finds out the show travels to different events, she gets excited thinking the snake can come to her upcoming birthday party. But when her parents have to tell her they can’t afford it, she tears up and cries, “I only turn 7 once!”

At first, Hank didn’t care because his sister is usually a pain. But then he remembers that Emily was on his side when their dad wanted to give away Hank’s dog. So he feels sorry for her and wants to help. The rest of the story is about how he tries to keep his promise to Emily to get the Westside Wizard to perform at her party. The only problem is, there is no Westside Wizard.

Emily isn’t very nice to Hank, like when she tells a store worker that Hank is stupid, after Hank knocks over a display. Yet Hank still wants to help her. Readers who have a brother or sister can relate to the love-hate feelings between Hank and Emily. But it’s a great read for anyone ages 6 to 10.