cover image Benny and Penny in How to Say Goodbye

Benny and Penny in How to Say Goodbye

Geoffrey Hayes. Toon (Consortium, dist.), $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-935179-99-3

Hayes thoughtfully portrays an array of emotions surrounding death in this sixth book starring mouse siblings Benny and Penny. Penny is distraught after she discovers a dead salamander, but Benny is grossed out: “Eeew! Put that thing down,” he shouts, flinging the dead amphibian into a bush with a “whack!” Helped by Melina the mole, Penny sets out to give Little Red a proper burial (it involves a shoebox, fond memories, and a rousing chorus of “the monkey ate the cheese”), and eventually Benny is struck by feelings of loss and regret. With humor, directness, and unfailing honesty, Hayes’s sensitive cartooning and sharp dialogue play up the big emotions of these little mice. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)