Here’s a Penny by Carolyn Haywood
A Sonlight book that I’m not likely to have picked up on my own. I’d never heard of it, and the cover didn’t grab me. The only reason I *might* have tried it is because of the familiarity of the author’s name.
They stories are sweet, in an old-fashioned way. A heads-up if you’re reading to children with any issues related to adoption: Penny is adopted and then he gains a brother at the end of the book by another adoption. I tried to gloss over this a bit, because G REALLY wants another baby so he can have a brother, and the book makes it seem so easy – just ask your parents, and you’ll get your brother! We quickly finished it and I went into distraction mode with other books.
There’s a sequel, Penny and Peter. I’d hoped to get it from the library, but it wasn’t available. I ended up buying a copy, because G liked it enough and wanted to know what happened next with Penny.
Easy to readaloud, the chapters are a nice length too for keeping their interest. They’re not as short as true beginning chapter books, but each one is generally 10 – 14 pages. The illustrations scattered throughout the text are nice, but their style doesn’t match with the cover art. I’m wondering if they’re original to the text – I know the versions currently in print have updated covers, which would explain the difference in style.
The kids’ verdict:
G enjoyed it – after reading one chapter a day for two days, we put it aside for our trip (and recovery). Picking it up again, I gave him a quick refresher as to what had taken place. Then I read chapter 3, and there were immediate requests for another one! Another one! Another one! Yeah, we read the final 8 chapters in two days, and if I’d been able to finish in in one day he’d have happily listened to it.
H semi-listened to it, but she didn’t complain when we finished it without her.
His name is not Penn or Penrose or anything that would make you think of Penny. His real name is William. But when his parents first saw him as a baby, with his red face and red-gold curls, they said, “My goodness. He looks like a brand-new copper penny.” And Penny is what they call him.
Now Penny is six years old, and this is the story of his adventures at home and in school. Many of them include his two best friends, Patsy and Peter, and his two kittens, Really and Truly. Penny learns how special it is to be adopted, what it means to belong in a family, and even, in the end, how it feels to have a new brother.
Title: Here’s a Penny
Author: Carolyn Haywood
Category: Children’s Fiction
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