Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2012.
Kevin Henkes’s debut titles for beginning readers are two easy chapter books featuring a mouse named Penny. Penny and Her Doll begins with Penny in the garden with Mama admiring the roses when a package arrives in the mail from Gram. Penny immediately falls in love with the doll inside, but agonizes over the course of the day about finding the right name for her. The answer turns out to be growing in the garden where Penny was when the doll arrived. In Penny and Her Song, Penny comes home from school with a song she’s made up in her head, but has to wait until dinner is over to sing it so she doesn’t wake the babies or disrupt the meal. When she finally shares her song, a grand time is had by everyone in the house. Both books feature terrific storytelling, including wonderful dialogue and charming illustrations. And both books are brimming with warmth. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
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