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Penny and Her Song


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About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of more than fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005, and Waiting won a Caldecott Honor and Geisel Honor in 2016. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song; her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels-one for The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. Kevin Henkes has been published by Greenwillow Books since the release of his first book, All Alone, in 1981. His fiftieth book, the picture book Egg, was published in January 2017. Most recently, he is the author of In the Middle of Fall, Winter Is Here, Summer Song, A Parade of Elephants, Sweeping Up the Heart, and Penny and Her Sled. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. www.kevinhenkes.com.


K-Gr 2-In this mild, two-chapter tale for beginning readers, Henkes once again touches on the challenges of being an older sibling. Penny is a young mouse bursting to sing a song to her parents that she has just learned at school. But disappointingly, every time she begins to sing, her parents ask her to stop. "'Your song is beautiful,' said Mama, 'but you will wake up the babies." Singing to herself in the mirror or to her glass animals just isn't the same, so Penny tries again at dinner. "'Not at the table,' said Mama. 'After dinner,' said Papa." Finally, before bed, Penny gets her chance to perform. The whole family joins in and soon discovers that the youngster's song has helped lull the babies to sleep. The narrative here is light on drama and character growth. Penny is neither as charismatic nor immediately lovable as some of Henkes's other, well-known protagonists. However, families seeking easy vocabulary and an old-fashioned story with positive, sass-free family interactions will appreciate this gentle read. Pastel-hued watercolor and ink illustrations of Penny and her smiling mouse family (done in classic Henkes style) brighten each otherwise clean, white page. Fans of the author who have graduated to independent-reader status will be glad to see his familiar hand at work on the easy-reader shelves.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"A quiet gem." -- School Library Journal (starred review) "Imagination grows and spreads from the fertile pages of this book to the minds of young readers...A must for every library." -- School Library Journal (starred review) "This intimate exploration of a child's burgeoning imagination hits every note right...Just plain perfect." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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