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Pennies for Elephants Hardcover – June 9, 2009


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Pennies for Elephants + The Multiplying Menace Divides (Math Adventures) + Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin (A Math Adventure)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142311390X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423113904
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.4 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: #1,367,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.



More About the Author

Lita is the author/illustrator for over a dozen fiction and nonfiction picture books including Born in the Wild (Roaring Brook, 2014), Flight School (Simon & Schuster, 2014), Red Hat (S&S, 2013), Red Sled (S&S, 2011), Bird Talk (Roaring Brook, 2012), One Thousand Tracings, and Pennies for Elephants (Disney-Hyperion). Her background in geology, paleontology and biology inspires her nonfiction books. Lita spent several years working for the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology before turning to writing about dinosaurs and other natural history subjects. But her background with animals also inspires her whimsical fictional tales filled with characters who forge big dreams. Several of her books have been selected as Junior Library Guild picks and they have received numerous awards including the 2013 Sterling North Award, the Jane Addams Honor Book, ALA Notable Children's Book, the International Reading Association Children's Book Award, Michigan Notable Book, and Kirkus Best Children's book of 2011. 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 Potter in Peterborough, New Hampshire. You can visit her online at LitaJudge.net

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
I may buy every single child I know this book for upcoming birthdays.
S. Colebank
Each additional turn of the page caused the story to become more alive with realistic newspaper clippings, vivid artwork, and engaging text.
David J. Vondran
"Pennies for Elephants" is a nostalgic-tinged story that will remind adult readers of days long gone by, while engaging children age 0-8.
Midwest Book Review

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grandma Musher on August 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I chose this book based on the favorable reviews posted here, but I was very disappointed. The story doesn't follow a plot. It's a random selection of newspaper clippings and postings that don't make sense to a preschooler. Only an adult who has read the reviews and already knows the bigger story will understand it. My child was bored. She loved the pictures, but doesn't want to hear this story again. She loves to be read to, and her favorites get read over and over and over. This one will not make it to her favorite list, and I doubt it will be a favorite by many children to come. With all the great fiction available out there, there is no need to fill your shelves with stuff that just doesn't measure up.
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