cover image Penny and Her Doll

Penny and Her Doll

Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow, $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-208199-5

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.)