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Penny and Her Marble Hardcover – February 19, 2013
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*Starred Review* One morning, while pushing her doll’s stroller past Mrs. Goodwin’s house, Penny spies a big, sky-blue marble in her neighbor’s grass. After checking that no one is watching, she puts it in her pocket. Back at home, she enjoys playing with her new treasure until she sees Mrs. Goodwin in her yard “exactly where Penny had found the marble.” Suddenly Penny feels uncomfortable. That feeling grows, making it hard for her to eat or sleep. The next morning, after putting the marble back where she found it, she learns that her neighbor had placed it there in hopes that someone would find and love it. When Penny accepts the marble from Mrs. Goodwin and thanks her, all is well. Through his narratives, Henkes conveys shades of emotions that are common to the human experience yet hard to express in words. It’s particularly impressive that he can do so in a book for beginning readers. Told in short sentences and simple words with a natural cadence, the story lays out a moral dilemma, lets the heroine find her own solution, and concludes with a reassuringly good outcome. Expressive ink-and-watercolor illustrations complement the text on every page. This small-scale yet immensely satisfying drama is a fine addition to the Penny series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Henkes's second book for beginning readers is sure to be as well received as his first, Penny and Her Song (2012). Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan
“Perfect for beginning readers. A treasure.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Henkes continues to plumb the emotional world of childhood as few author/illustrators can. . . . Another gem.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Impeccable. . . . Respect for the beginning reader’s emerging skills beautifully matches Henkes’s respect for Penny .” (Horn Book (starred review))
“Splendid . . . Henkes so completely understands the minds of small children. . . . His vivacious panels always seem to burst with springtime. It’s hard to imagine anything ever going too wrong in one of his sensitive, generous portrayals. Everything here ends just right.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Henkes ups the emotional stakes in his third book starring Penny.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Henkes conveys shades of emotions that are common to human experience, yet hard to express in words. It’s particularly impressive that he can do so in a book for beginning readers. . . . This small-scale, yet immensely satisfying drama is a fine addition to the Penny series.” (Booklist (starred review))
Praise for Penny and Her Song: “Henkes strikes all the right notes. . . . Language, art, characterization, and plot are all executed, like Penny’s song, beautifully.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“The text . . . is perfect for new readers, and Henkes’s familiar artwork has its share of warm moments. This early reader captures the way families make memories at unexpected moments. Welcome Penny to the cast.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Much as he did in Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Henkes presents an irrepressible heroine who struggles to compromise.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Carefully sequenced panels, expressive lines and gentle pastels lead the reader to the story’s joyous resolution.” (Washington Post)
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This is an amazing book, it has a wonderful story, a moral dilemma that a child needs to learn (and adults too.) It allows a child to use their imagination and the prose is so well written it was a pleasure to read. The illustrations in this book are priceless. As you can tell I really think this book is amazing. I have ordered two more of the Penny books from Mr. Henkes. I know my grandchildren are going to love them (and so will I.)
Not cloyingly simple, like some of the stories of its ilk out there
A sweet story, Henkes continues to deliver wonderful children's literature, and I definitely recommend it.