cover image Benny's Pennies

Benny's Pennies

Pat Brisson. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-385-41602-3

Benny McBride has five new pennies and can't think how to spend them. His family quickly chimes in and he sets off to find ``something beautiful'' for his mother, ``something good to eat'' for his brother--even gifts for the family dog and cat. Brisson's ( Your Best Friend, Kate ) unaffectedly sweet tone, combined with her well-chosen language, cumulative refrain and judiciously placed rhymes, lends the text a pleasing musicality. Its dulcet qualities are matched in Barner's ( Pick Up Your Ears ) sunny and unusually textured torn- and cut-paper collages. The young hero strolls down a lane flanked by delicate cut-paper birch trees; roses made from whorls of red paper seem to pop out of the page; a thicket of leathery-looking sausages festoons a butcher shop and a slicker-clad fisherman floats among waves of blue paper, catching ``floppy wet fish'' adorned with scalloped green scales. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)