cover image Pennies for Elephants

Pennies for Elephants

Lita Judge, . . Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-1390-4

As she did in One Thousand Tracings , Judge weaves a compelling tale based on a true, heartwarming incident. In 1914, the children of Boston raised $6,000 to buy three trained elephants for the Franklin Park Zoo. But told through the eyes of siblings (and fund-raisers) Dorothy and Henry, the story expands into an inspired celebration of kid power. From the opening spread, children are at the helm. “Pennies for elephants! Send in your pennies, your nickels, and dimes!” hawks the newspaper boy, capturing the children’s attention, but not the humorously haughty adult passersby. Dorothy and Henry, along with 50,000 other children, donate their savings, shovel snow and throw admission-based costume parties: “When Henry got an idea in his head, it was like fuel to a Studebaker.” Such dollops of historical flavor abound, with watercolors of knickers-clad boys and streets bustling with people, horses and horseless carriages. Warm sepia tones lend atmosphere, too, and splashes of bright red, blue, purple and yellow in the children’s outfits echo their sunny, can-do demeanor: “We kids had done it!... Mollie, Waddy, and Tony were home to stay.” Ages 4–7. (June)