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Miranda Richardson

Word Play: A horrid success with kids

Word Play: A horrid success with kids

Francesca Simon is an international star. Her series of children's books about Horrid Henry (Sourcebooks: $4.99 each, ages 8-12) have sold 14 million copies in 24 countries. In England, where she lives, "Horrid Henry and the Football Fiend" was No. 12 on the list of 250 most-borrowed library books last year — and her books occupied 16 more spots on the list as well. There has been a "Horrid Henry" animated television series, even a stage show. So imagine the author's dismay at visiting her hometown of Los Angeles and finding not a single one of her titles in her mother's neighborhood bookstore in Pacific Palisades. "It was weird to be such a...