cover image One Proud Penny

One Proud Penny

Randy Siegel, illus. by Serge Block. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-235-4

Though this story from the duo behind My Snake Blake includes factual information about where pennies are made (Philadelphia, mostly) and what they’re made from (zinc, mostly), this is also a story about an object that people don’t pay much attention to. “I’ve been sucked up and stuck in a vacuum cleaner more times than I can count,” says Siegel’s narrating penny. “I once spent a year in a sewer drain on the side of a busy street.” Bloch builds his drawings around an image of an actual 1983 penny, embellishing it with impishly scrawled ink lines. One spread shows the penny’s peregrinations around the United States as it falls into the possession of a bear in the Rockies and sports a 10-gallon hat in Texas. Eventually, it comes to rest in a jar of pennies on a kitchen table. “I try to be the best penny I can,” it says resolutely. It’s the story of an unlikely hero, happy with its somewhat lowly lot and enjoying adventure wherever it’s found. Siegel does a sterling job of conjuring up an emotional life for this ubiquitous coin. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)