School Library Journal
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PreS-Gr 1-The engaging mouse introduced in Penny and Her Song (HarperCollins, 2011) is back. This time she and her mother are working in the garden when the mailman arrives with a package. Penny's grandmother has sent her a doll. She loves it and shows it to her siblings and her father. However, she is stumped because she cannot think of a name for her. After Penny decides to show her doll all around her home, she is inspired to find a name for her in the garden, and she happily runs in and announces her choice to her family. The garden motif is carried throughout the book by the color scheme and the floral wallpaper in the home. Penny's voice is authentic, and her play and interaction with her doll will be recognizable to children. The sight words and repetition are perfect for emerging readers and will allow children to move from being read to toward reading on their own. As supremely satisfying as a Henkes picture book, this beginning reader belongs in collections everywhere.-Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Penny the mouse, who eagerly awaited the opportunity to sing for her busy family in Penny and Her Song, is delighted to receive a doll from her grandmother ("I love her already," Penny tells her mother and father separately). But Penny faces a quandary when it comes to naming her doll. As her mother and father attend to "the babies," they offer suggestions, but nothing feels right until Penny stops thinking so hard and lets the name come to her. While the emotional stakes aren't quite as high in this sequel, the dynamics between Penny and her parents are spot-on, both in Henkes's pared-down prose and his delicate watercolor-and-ink scenes. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Mouse girl Penny and her mama are weeding the garden. Well, Mama is weeding; Penny is smelling the roses. When the mailman drops off a box from Gram excitement ensues, and there's no disappointment when the box is opened and an adorable doll with pink cheeks, a pink bow, and a pink dress is revealed. The rest of the story follows Penny as she tries to come up with a name for the new dolly. It's not the most exciting premise, and alert readers may come up with the name before Penny does. But as is so often the case in Henkes stories, what captures attention is the reality of children's emotions and the warmth that family interactions can engender. And of course, there's that sweet, satisfying artwork. Penny is not a feisty heroine like Lily; instead, as depicted in the full-page paintings and vignettes, she has a sweetness to her that will connect with many new readers. The simple story is just right for those starting out. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Henkes' name sells books, and the Penny series of early readers opens a new market for him.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist