Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

New York Times blows it on Henry Winkler’s kids book – Hank Zipzer is not “underachieving,” he’s dyslexic.

Except for one thing, Sarah Lyall wrote a strong NYT article about the British theatre’s pantomime tradition.

She mentions all the stars who’ve been glad to perform in these farcical fooleries, from Pamela Anderson to Sir Ian McKellen, with extensive quotes from Henry Winkler. But then she writes of Winkler:

He is also the co-author of the Hank Zipzer series, about an underachieving fourth grader, which has sold about three million copies, he said.

Doh! Hank “underachieves” because he’s got dyslexia, which is the whole point of the series. Winkler co-wrote these fun books (with Lin Oliver) to tell his own story about dealing with dyslexia, and to help kids (and their parents) deal with it.

I would not want to be standing near a fan at the New York Times anytime soon.

By the way, you can buy the Hank Zipzer collection from Amazon, and have part of the proceeds go to KPCC. The books are fun to read and enlightening without being messagy.

With KPCC’s Steve Julian, I interviewed Winkler about the Zipzer books long before I started doing Off-Ramp, and discovered that what people say about him (Winkler, not Julian) seems to be true. He’s a really nice guy, and smart as a whip.

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