Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Review: Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes (2012)

Though I think a lot of people and bookstores have called this book a picture book, it’s really an easy reader divided into short chapters. Penny is a mouse like Lilly, and Chrysanthemum, and Owen, but she doesn’t have a big life-changing problem. Rather, she comes home from school wanting to share her special song, and discovers she must wait because the babies are asleep. It’s difficult to wait, but well worth it, because when she does finally share her song, everyone in the family loves it - including those little babies.

The story reminded me immediately of Noisy Nora, but without the condescending older sister, and with a much less dramatic resolution. Penny is never brushed aside and ignored like Nora; rather, she waits patiently, and is ultimately rewarded with lots of positive attention from her parents for her creativity. The book is less a sibling rivalry story, and more of a celebration of joy, togetherness, and sharing simple moments with one’s family.

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