Breaking News Bar
updated: 2/15/2014 7:13 PM

'Happy Days' actor promotes books at Woodridge event

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Henry Winkler, who played the Fonz on the TV show "Happy Days" snaps a self-portrait with Ginny Sieck of Geneva, who was one of more than 500 people gathered Saturday in Woodridge to hear Winkler discuss his new children's book series "Here's Hank." Winkler and his writing partner, Lin Oliver, were among six keynote speakers during Naperville-based Anderson's Bookshop's annual Children's Literature Breakfast.

       Henry Winkler, who played the Fonz on the TV show "Happy Days" snaps a self-portrait with Ginny Sieck of Geneva, who was one of more than 500 people gathered Saturday in Woodridge to hear Winkler discuss his new children's book series "Here's Hank." Winkler and his writing partner, Lin Oliver, were among six keynote speakers during Naperville-based Anderson's Bookshop's annual Children's Literature Breakfast.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Henry Winkler, who portrayed the Fonz on the TV show "Happy Days," greets fan Kim Crawshaw of Geneva on Saturday during the annual Children's Literature Breakfast sponsored by Anderson's Bookshop of Naperville. Winkler and his writing partner Lin Oliver were among featured authors at the breakfast and spoke about the first two installments in their new children's book series "Here's Hank."

       Henry Winkler, who portrayed the Fonz on the TV show "Happy Days," greets fan Kim Crawshaw of Geneva on Saturday during the annual Children's Literature Breakfast sponsored by Anderson's Bookshop of Naperville. Winkler and his writing partner Lin Oliver were among featured authors at the breakfast and spoke about the first two installments in their new children's book series "Here's Hank."
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
 

A duo of authors including the man best known as the Fonz on the 1970s TV show "Happy Days" used a Children's Literature Breakfast on Saturday in Woodridge to promote the release of their latest books, which feature a font designed to make reading easier for people with dyslexia.

The first two installments in the "Here's Hank" series by Henry Winkler and his writing partner Lin Oliver describe the adventures of a character based on a young Winkler before the boy appears in the popular "Hank Zipzer" books.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Winkler discussed "Bookmarks are People Too" and "A Short Tale about a Long Dog," which he said are the latest steps in his efforts to write "from the heart" and use stories from his youthful struggles with undiagnosed dyslexia to teach children with learning difficulties they truly are "brilliant."

"I was told I would never amount to much. I would never achieve," Winkler said. "When a child is young and trying to figure it out and confused, they need support."

Before his presentation, Winkler posed for photos with fans, many of whom said they remembered him as the "Happy Days" actor in a leather jacket with perfect hair.

But most of the librarians, teachers and book lovers in the crowd of more than 500 at the annual breakfast sponsored by Naperville-based Anderson's Bookshop attended the event to learn about new books from a variety of authors.

Winkler told them "Here's Hank" features the same resourceful, funny and optimistic character from "Hank Zipzer," but as a second-grader before he is diagnosed with dyslexia.

"Hank has his glass half-full -- he just spills it everywhere," Winkler said.

After he and Oliver wrote the first two books for the new series, Winkler said publishers told him it would be printed in a special typeface that aims to make reading easier for people with dyslexia, a condition in which the brain jumbles up letters and words.

"It is the first time in America that this font is being used, and it's being used in 'Here's Hank,'" Winkler said Saturday.

Becky Anderson, owner of Anderson's Bookshop, told the crowd she is impressed by Winkler's passion for giving kids with learning difficulties an example of success through his writing.

"I think he is the most proud of what he has done with these books and reaching kids and reluctant readers and people with learning difficulties," Anderson said.

Oliver, who is co-founder and executive director of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, said she and Winkler strive to write books that provide laughter, portray friendship and empathy, promote uniqueness and nonconformity, and speak the truth from their hearts.

The result, Winkler says, is a series of books that often gets the response "how do you know me so well?" from kids who are dyslexic. Kids can spot authenticity when they read it, he says, and he's hoping they'll find it in his new series.

"Kids are relating to a hero who has a learning challenge," Oliver said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.