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Perfect Peter

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Artwork Tony Ross from the Horrid Henry Books by Francesca Simon published by Orion Children's Books.

If you're a fan of Horrid Henry you'll know that Horrid Henry's brother, Perfect Peter, plays the cello. (Naturally - all children who play the cello are perfect!) So when littlecellist.com met Francesca Simon, the author of the Horrid Henry books, we had our questions lined up:

Q. How did you think of Perfect Peter playing the best instrument?
A. My son wanted to play the cello - in fact he now plays the double bass.


Q. Does anyone in your family play the cello?
A. No, I play the violin.


Q. The Horrid Henry books have been translated into lots of different languages. Does Perfect Peter play the cello in Iceland, Norway, Finland, Turkey, Italy, Wales, France, Spain and the Czech Republic?
A. Yes


Q. Is Peter good at playing the cello?
A. No, Peter is a terrible cellist!

(Probably because Henry disturbs him when he does his cello practice!)

Q. What does Horrid Henry do when Perfect Peter does his cello practice?
A. He screams!

(See, we were right!)

Can you make up a story about Perfect Peter and his cello? Send it to us and we'll publish the best ones on the website! Don't forget to put your name, age and address on your work. (There is no time limit - you can send in your stories or drawings at any time!)

Here is Perfect Peter in his bedroom with his cello. But it's rather a funny looking cello isn't it! How many things can you see that aren't right about it?

TV animation image Novel Entertainment Ltd 2007
from the Horrid Henry series, designed by Dave Unwin, Benedict Lewis and Andy Mcpherson

Inspired by Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry stories, Claire Biek (age 9) took up littlecellist.com's challenge of writing a story about Perfect Peter and his cello:

Squeak. Squeak. Squeak.
Horrid Henry sat down on his bed and covered his ears. Alas, Perfect Peter was practising his cello again. Perfect Peter had to practise for half an hour and only twenty minutes had gone past. Horrid Henry felt like Peter had been playing for hours.
"Couldn't you be quiet just for one minute Peter?" said Henry, bursting into Peter's bedroom. 
"No. I have to do my cello practice every day for half an hour and I've only done twenty minutes," said Perfect Peter proudly, "My cello teacher was very proud of me because I practised every day, and you're not allowed in my room unless I say so."
Horrid Henry pounced. He was a hyena pouncing on his prey. 
"WWWWAAAAA!!!! MMMUUUUUMMM!!!" wailed Peter.
Mum ran up the stairs.
"Stop being horrid Henry and leave your brother alone!" shouted Mum.
"I hate you Peter!" screamed Henry.
"Go to your room!" yelled Mum, "Now Peter I'll practise with you." Horrid Henry slammed his bedroom door. Only Peter could make the worst sound on his cello. Even Margaret's screaming was better than Peter on his cello. Horrid Henry needed to think. He needed to find a way to stop Peter from playing the cello. But how? Peter loved to play on his cello so he wouldn't want to stop. Suddenly Horrid Henry had the most spectacular idea; it was so horrid even Horrid Henry hesitated. But hadn't Peter been making the most awful sound on earth?


Sneak. Sneak. Sneak.
Horrid Henry checked to the left. Horrid Henry checked to the right. The coast was clear. Horrid Henry tiptoed into Perfect Peter's bedroom. As usual, Peter's bedroom was as tidy as a Horrid Henry paused. he couldn't think of anything as tidy as Peter's bedroom.
Snore. Snore. Snore.
Horrid Henry turned round. There was Peter snoring in his sleep. Phew, it was only Peter. Horrid Henry tiptoed to Peter's cello and turned the knobs as far as he thought it was out of tune. Then he went back to bed.
Horrid Henry burst out of bed. Honestly, you can't get any peace in his house, thought Horrid Henry. Horrid Henry yawned as he went into Perfect Peter's bedroom. There he saw that Peter was wailing and Dad was comforting him and Mum was turning the knobs of the cello.
"Poor Peter," Dad was saying, "Why don't you come and have something to drink."
"Okay," said Peter slowly, wiping away his tears.
Dad and Peter went off.


"Peter I know how to tune your cello because it's really out of tune," Henry said coming into Peter's bedroom.  Peter looked up from pasting stamps into his notebook.
"You do?" asked Peter quietly.
"Oh yes," said Henry smoothly, "It's quite simple, really all you have to do is to ." Here he lowered his voice, "Put the cello in the bath."
"Really?" asked Peter slowly.
"YES!" shouted Henry.
"Ok," said Peter even more slowly.
"Now put your cello in the bath and wait till morning and then it will be in tune!"
"Are you sure?" Peter said uneasily.
"Of course I'm sure, I'm your brother. You would help me with a big problem like this," said Henry.
Peter took his cello out of his case very, very slowly. He was not very sure about what Henry said, but since hd didn't know how to tune a cello and Mum and Dad didn't know how either maybe, just maybe Henry was right. Should he believe Henry?
"Dinnertime!" shouted Mum.
"Never mind, we'll do it after Mum and Dad have gone to bed," Henry whispered.


Sneak. Sneak. Sneak.
After Mum anbd Dad had gone to bed, Perfect Peter and Horrid Henry went to the bathroom with the cello and filled the bath.
"Are you still sure about putting the cello in the bath?" asked Peter quietly.
"Yes, of course I am," whispered Henry.
Then they put the cello carefully in the filled bath, turned off the light, closed the door and went to bed.
In the morning Peter went to collect his cello from the bath. Then he screamed, not meaning to but he did. Mum and Dad ran into the room.
"You horrid boy, don't scream ." shouted Dad.
Then he stopped. For there in the bath were bits of wood and string floating in the bath. Dad and Mum went pale.
"How are we going to buy another cello," whispered Mum, "after all they are so expensive."
"I'm afraid, Peter, you will have to stop playing the cello until we find another cello," said Dad.
Peter burst into tears.
"But Henry told me to fill the bath and put my cello in; he said it would make my cello be in tune."
"WHAT!" shouted Mum and Dad.
Naturally, Henry got into trouble but still it would mean that there would be no scratchy sounds in the house for the moment.