Ayyy. It’s the Fonz!

Henry Winkler’s got a special message for the kids.

Back in the heyday of Happy Days, Henry Winkler played Arthur Fonzarelli, one of the coolest TV characters of all time. The Fonz was a greaser, a skilled mechanic, and the dude everyone wanted to be. But Fonzie was also a Lothario, a gang member, and a high school dropout. Beneath the leather jacket beat the heart of a confused young man with deep-rooted education issues. Behind the scenes, Winkler fleshed out the cartoonish one-dimensionality of the Fonz by drawing upon his own disaffected youth.

Winkler didn’t come to fully comprehend the key factors in his own awkward upbringing until he turned 31 and was officially diagnosed with dyslexia. He’s channeled the experience of being a funny, feisty, struggling fifth-grader into a clever children’s book series, Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever. Cutesy, yes. But, ayyyyy, though it seems every celebrity with a cooled-off career writes a children’s book, Winkler actually reaches out — with wit and experience — to an important and oft-overlooked demographic. Clearly it’s working; he’s on book number 14! Winkler will spread the word about his latest Hank Zipzer adventure, The Life of Me (Enter at Your Own Risk), at 7 p.m. at Temple Beth Am. Before the event, stop by Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) to pick up the required free tickets.
Tue., May 13, 7 p.m., 2008

 
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