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Pennies for Elephants Hardcover – June 9, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Lita Judge is the illustrator of several books for children, including Mogo, the Third Warthog, S is for Simon, and D is for Dinosaurs, and the authorillustrator of One Thousand Tracings. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, with her husband and two cats.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142311390X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423113904
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,511,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lita is the author and illustrator for over a dozen fiction and nonfiction picture books including Born in the Wild (Roaring Brook, 2014), Flight School (Simon & Schuster, 2014) and Red Sled (S&S, 2011). Her books have received numerous awards including the Sterling North Award, the Jane Addams Honor, ALA Notable and Kirkus Best of. She enjoys teaching both writing and illustration to students of all ages and shares much about her creative process in classrooms and on her blog and website. Lita lives with her husband, two cats and a little green parrot named Beatrix in Peterborough, New Hampshire. You can visit her online at LitaJudge.net

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Orfords had a trio of elephants they had trained to be the "Greatest Animal Act the World Has Ever Seen." They were very smart elephants and everywhere they went, children and adults alike went crazy over them. The owners decided they were ready for retirement and the elephants had to be sold. In 1914 an asking price of $6,000 was very steep and the children of Boston were absolutely determined that those three pachyderms were perfect for their zoo. Getting the money was going to be difficult, but if 50,000 children pulled together and donated their pennies it was a possibility. Maybe.

"Pennies for elephants! Pennies for elephants!" All the boys and girls in Boston were trying to figure out ways to earn some pennies. Every time someone donated a few their name would be listed in the Boston Post. Henry grabbed his sister's hand, ran past Vincent's Vegetable cart and hurried home. Their piggy banks were opened and their kitty watched as they counted. The snow had begun to fly and every youngster, including the two siblings, were vying to shovel out the city. London and a West coast circus had the money. The names began to pepper the paper. Tooth fairy money, movie money, life savings, bake sales, errand money . . . would they make enough money to keep the elephants in Boston?

This was a wonderful story of how thousands of children worked together for the common good (and three talented pachyderms). The story was light, fun and exciting. I loved the little snippets of the Boston Post that listed names of the children and their contributions. For example, one of the cutest ones was "$.03 from three-year-old Anna." The tale, based on a true story, and the artwork meshed perfectly. On the end pages there are quaint reproductions of the Post. Also hidden in the back is a note from the author, telling how the story unfolded before her. This is one story that will bring smiles to the faces of young and old alike!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on June 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In 1914, the Boston Post announced that a local couple had decided to retire from animal training and put three of their famous elephants - Mollie, Tony, and Waddy - up for sale. Knowing that Boston's public zoo could not afford the purchase price of $6000 and realizing how much the city's children loved the elephants, the Orfords gave the children two months to collect the money. Kids like Dorothy and Henry did everything in their power to raise the money, one penny, nickel, and dime at a time. Small chores, piggy bank raids, cupcake sales, and magic shows; they stopped at nothing. Excitement mounted as competing offers to buy the pachyderms started rolling in from other parts of the world. Would Dorothy and Henry and all their peers reach the goal in time?

With images of newspaper clippings that add to the realism, award winning Lita Judge has produced another outstanding piece of historical fiction for children. Pennies for Elephants provides children with a powerful lesson in economics that collective efforts in raising small amounts of money can lead to elephant-sized results.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David J. Vondran on June 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After reading this true story, my three girls (ages 3-9) were amazed how the children of Boston could have such a profound effect on their community by working together for a common cause. Each additional turn of the page caused the story to become more alive with realistic newspaper clippings, vivid artwork, and engaging text. This wonderful story delivers enjoyment, lessons, and inspiration that every child will remember for a lifetime.
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Format: Hardcover
Written and illustrated by Lita Judge, "Pennies for Elephants" is a charming hardcover children's book that tells the tale of Molly, Tony and Wady, three trained elephants in Boston that are rescued from being sold to the circus by a children's penny-raising campaign coordinated by Dorothy and Henry. The kids have only two months to collect $6000 for their elephant rescue project, and the race is on for creative fundraising by and for kids! All the children of New England play a part in this effort, and many shared moments of joy and suspense ensue. The wonderful story is beautifully illustrated by full page delicate rainbow-hued paintings of the children and their elephants and activities. A running total report of small amounts of money donated from many separate donors keeps the suspense high, and the final result is victory for the children and the elephants. "Pennies for Elephants" is a nostalgic-tinged story that will remind adult readers of days long gone by, while engaging children age 0-8. "Pennies for Elephants" is based on actual events that happened in 1914, a fact that ads to the joy of the story.
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