October 7, 2013

Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:06 am by suebe2

Penny and Her Marble
by Kevin Henkes
Greenwillow Books

When the story opens, Penny is walking her doll Rose up and down the sidewalk.  On one pass, Penny imagines they are walking through a great city.  On the next, they are navigating a great wood.  As she passes her neighbor’s front yard, Penny spots a big, beautiful blue marble.  She quickly slips it into her pocket and heads home.

But when you think you might have done something even a little bit wrong, imagination can be a bad thing.  Thinking about the marble that she isn’t sure she should have, Penny isn’t interested in baking cookies, even her favorites, or eating dinner.  That night, sleep is a long time coming.

When she gets up the next morning, Penny is determined to do the right thing and when she does something amazing happens.

Beginning readers, even more advanced readers with multiple chapters such as this, aren’t easy to write.  Vocabulary and sentence length must be kept at a manageable level for youngsters who are just learning to control the strings of letters they will one day read with ease.  Some writers produce beginning readers that are mediocre at best, but not Henkes.

Henkes gives us a solid, likable character with a realistic problem.  Not only is it realistic, but it is something readers will get.  After all, they’ve all been there before.

Henkes illustrations, black pen and water color, are as charming as always.  His characters always look fun and maybe just a little silly but they are capable of a full range of emotions.  Add to this the fact that, as with all good beginning readers, Henkes illustrations give the young reader contextual clues for deciphering words like stroller, marble and curtain that they might not immediately recognize even if they’ve encountered these things in their lives.

Fans of Henkes’s picture books will be happy to find his story in a book that is written just for them to decipher with their brand new skills.





  1. […] “Penny and Her Marble,” written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books).   . . . this one […]

  2. […] Penny and Her Marble written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes.  This is a beginning reader and, as such is simple, but not in the least bit slight.  Excellent job. […]

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