Penny and Her Song
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Penny and Her Song (Mouse Books)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  805 ratings  ·  122 reviews
When Penny comes home from school, she is ready to sing her song. But the babies are sleeping, and Mama and Papa are worried that Penny will wake them up. Oh, but it is a good song, a really wonderful song . . . and Penny wants more than anything to sing it.

What do you think will happen?
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Greenwillow Books
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Penny wants someone to listen to her song, but her parents keep telling her she'll "wake the babies". She is hurt and put-off just like any child would be, but her loving parents give her all the attention she needs as soon as those babies are awake. They even join in the fun, with happy results.

I was disappointed in this one, but for reasons that are admittedly unfair. I have to keep reminding myself that this is not a typical Kevin Henkes picture boook. Julius, the Baby of the World, Chrysanth...more
Richie Partington
Richie’s Picks: PENNY AND HER SONG by Kevin Henkes, Greenwillow, February 2012, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-06-208195-7

“I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him and listen for a while”
-- Fox/Gimbel, “Killing Me Softly”

“Living in today’s complex world of the future is a little like having bees live in your head. But there they are.”
-- The Firesign Theater, “We're All Bozos on this Bus”

How often do you find yourself with a song in your head? How often do you let one of the...more
Mar 16, 2012 Becky rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I don't love, love, love every book Kevin Henkes writes. Some of his books aren't quite up to what I expect from him. But Penny and Her Song, for me, is one of his best! (Perhaps just needing some time before becoming as beloved as his classic picture books, Chrysanthemum and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Owen.)

It begins

Penny came home from school with a song.
"Listen, Mama," said Penny. "It's my very own song."
Penny started to sing,
"One is nice--"
"Your song is beautiful, said Mama, "but you...more
Joining the beloved Chrysanthemum, Lilly, Owen and Wemberly is a new mouse character from the incredible Kevin Henkes. This mouse is named Penny and she has a song to sing. Unfortunately when she gets home, the babies are sleeping and she’s not allowed to share her song with her mother or father. Later, she tries to share the song during dinner, but her parents ask her to wait until they are done eating to sing. Finally, after dinner, Penny shares her song. Her parents sing it too, they dress up...more
Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes (2012)
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Format: Book
Plot summary: Penny wants to share the song she wrote but must practice patience for the right time to share it with her parents and siblings.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, religious overtones, violence, etc.)" No special considerations
Review citation (if available)
Section source used to find the material: Children's Core Collection, Too-Good-to-Miss-Books: First Grade (...more
Courtney Dyer
Penny came home from school one day with a song to sing. She tried singing to Mama, but she said she might wake the babies. Then she tried singing to Papa, but he too said she might wake the babies. Penny goes to her room to sing to herself, but she really wants someone to listen to her song. Finally after dinner, she has her parents’ undivided attention and much to our surprise, Penny’s song becomes a full family affair.

Kevin Henkes breaks out of his typical picture book format and tries his ha...more
What happens to Penny is familiar to most children, but the story is unique and memorable. Penny is a great character with lots of admirable personality traits. Elements of classic Henkes are there, so fans of his picture books will be happy to see he has some fabulous early readers.

And here are the things liked as a librarian. Penny's song incorporates and mirrors important early literacy skills. I really like that the cover art is the generally same but done in different tones, it's eye-catch...more
Adrienne Furness
It's no surprise that Henkes' first foray into beginning readers would be brilliant. He does such a lovely job of capturing family dynamics, and I kind of want to move in with this particular family of mice.
Colby Sharp
After my first reading I gave this book 3 stars. I have now read this book to my daughter close to 100 times and I now appreciate its brilliance.

Never underestimate the power of Kevin Henkes.
Edward Sullivan
Good early reader with an exuberant Penny.
When I went to see Kevin Henkes speak on his tour to promote Penny and Her Song in 2012, he told us the decision to have chapters in the book was a purposefully considered one. Penny and Her Song really isn't long enough to require chapter divisions, and he acknowledged that; however, he told us one of the things that stood out to him most about when his own son learned to read was the sense of accomplishment his son derived from the first time he ever read a book with chapters. Penny and Her S...more
Mary Ann
Penny comes home from school one day with a smile on her face. She has made up her very own song, and can't wait to share it with her family. But Mama and Papa tell her she mustn't wake up the babies. So Penny goes to her room and sings to herself in the mirror - but she really just wants someone to listen to her. At dinner, Penny tries to sing again, but her parents ask her to wait until after everyone eats. Finally, Penny sings her special song for the whole family. Her parents adore the song,...more
In this book, Henkes introduces us to a new character, a character just as interesting and unique as Owen or Lily, a character who loves to sing. Penny arrives home from school wanting to sing her song for her family. After both mom and dad interrupt her performance to remind her that the babies are sleeping and she needs to be quiet, Penny determines to sing her song for herself. But she discovers that singing to herself is just not the same as singing for someone else. She searches her room fo...more
Penny and Her Song (Mouse Books) by Kevin Henkes is the story of a small mouse who makes up a special song that she must wait to share with her family.

Henkes' illustrations were made with watercolor paints and a black pen.
My favorite images are cover, faces in the mirror, Penny's song spread, beautiful & wonderful, Mama & Papa sang, show spread, asleep in basket, everyone kissed, and last picture.

This is the first beginning reader by Henkes. I miss the creative vocabulary and humor of mo...more
Feb 27, 2012 Clay marked it as to-read
Penny and Her Song
by Kevin Henkes

Shelf-Awareness starred review, Jennifer Brown:

"Kevin Henkes introduces a new mouse character named Penny for a spot-on beginning reader series.

Penny comes home from school with a song she can't wait to share. But she gets only as far as the first phrase before her mother asks her to wait until her baby twin siblings wake up. After two phrases, Papa, too, asks Penny to keep the peace. So she sings to herself in the mirror and plays with her glass animals. "She al...more
Henkes successfully enters the world of early readers in this gentle story of Penny's attempt to divert her parents' attention from the babies to her. Penny's created a song and she is desperate to sing it for them, only to be told several times "Not now." Singing to her mirror or to her glass animals just doesn't do it for her. She tries again at dinner, but of course there's no singing at the table! Her parents help her find the right time to perform; and, after hearing her song, they join in...more
Penny and Her Song
By Kevin Henkes

Awards: Iowa Goldfinch Award 2013-2014
Audience: Primary; Easy Reader Grades 1-3
Genre: Picture Book--Fiction

Pre-reading Strategy: Think-Pair-Share
Think. Ask students to think about stories about siblings. Ask them to think specifically about the joys and frustrations of having brothers and sisters or being an only child.
Pair. Using designated partners (such as nearby neighbors or a deskmate) students pair up to talk about the stories each came up with so that eve...more
Kevin Henkes has already mastered picture books (Caldecott winner Kitten's First Full Moon, Chrysanthemum) and middle-grade novels (Olive's Ocean, Junonia), but Penny and Her Song is his first easy reader. Henkes employs his usual adorable, buoyant animals, and his trademark illustration style to tell this story about Penny, a little mouse with a song to sing. Penny has made up a song, but when she tries to sing it to her mother and father, they ask her not to sing it, because her baby siblings...more
When Penny comes home from school, she is ready to sing her song. But the babies are sleeping, and Mama and Papa are worried that Penny will wake them up. Oh, but it is a good song, a really wonderful song . . . and Penny wants more than anything to sing it.

What do you think will happen?

I think this a great early reader. Many children will likely be familiar with Kevin Henkes illustrations from reading favorites such as Chrysanthemum and Owen! Many early readers will also likely identify with Pe...more
This book is the first one Kevin Henkes has written for beginning readers. Penny arrives home from school with a song in her head that she can’t wait to share, but her baby sister and brother are sleeping and she has to wait. By the time she gets to sing, it is worth it! Her parents learn the song and the babies, as best as they can. (Preschool-Grade 2)

Curriculum Connection: It is a good reminder that sometimes fun, family events don’t need to be planned; they can happen in the spur of the momen...more
Laura Graves

I was definitely expecting more. It’s hard to tell sometimes what you’re going to get with childrens’ picture books. Sometimes they’re just a level below what I enjoy. I think this book is one of those.

Basically, Penny wants to sing a song, but everyone is so busy that they won’t listen to her. When she finally gets to sing they all love it so she sings again. That’s pretty much the book. I was hoping for more of a story than that, so I w...more
Rima Aroutiounian
This book tells the story of Penny who wants to sing. At first her parents reject. Then after dinner she sings it to her family and siblings and they love it. The book shows singing to your sibling’s means caring for them. The story is great for narrative skills because it follows a pattern.
The first of the early reader chapter books about Penny. I like the creativity of the story (and the ability for the reader to sing his or her own version of the song), but the text is harder to read and the chapter division is less intuitive than some of the later Penny books.
Melynda Moore
What: This book is about a little mouse named Penny. She came up with her own song and really wanted somebody to hear her sing. The babies are sleeping in the house so she is unable to sing to her parents. She tries to do all sorts of other things but can't find a way to sing her song to someone. Finally, when the babies are awake, and they finish dinner, she is able to sing her song to her family. They have a good time playing around with it and then go to bed.

So What: Poetry is an important pa...more
Annie Zuckerman
This is a story about Penny who wants to sing her song for someone. She can't read it to her parents because they are worried that she will wake up the babies. When she tries to sing it to herself and her glass dolls, she doesn't feel satisfied. Eventually she gets the chance to sing it to her parents and the babies. Her parents were pleased to discover that the song helped put the babies and Penny to sleep.
This was a cute story and one that would be suitable for very young readers who are just...more
Penny and her song by Kevin Henkes is a story about a little mouse named Penny who learns a really cool song. She wants to sing it for her family, but her baby siblings are always sleeping or it's time to eat. When Penny finally gets to perform her song for her family, they all join in, and they all become very tired. Penny's song helped her family et ready for bed, and Penny woke up the next morning with the beautiful sun in the sky and a song in her head. This story is intended for preK-3rd gr...more
Mrs. Knott
Very cute story for young children. Little girls will love Kevin Henkes' illustrations and will connect to young Penny and her desire to sing a song that she came up with! Kids will understand when Penny is frustrated because it's not the right time to sing, or because her little siblings are still asleep. And they will be happy for Penny when she is so thrilled everyone loves her song and they all sing along.
Kevin Henkes delivers another cute story that will delight the younger siblings who ha...more
Jim Erekson
Another installment in the Penny and Her ____ series. The approach to validating a child, even though it may be delayed, was okay. The overall feeling I had after reading it was "Why did this get to be a published book?" Henkes has a good racket going with his mice, and he's obviously trying to fill a niche in the Early Reader market.

Henkes' mice remind me a little of the earlier Rosemary Wells, back when she did the original 1976 version of Noisy Nora (I disagree with her--it didn't need to be...more
The Library Lady
I was lucky enough to be at the Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia where Kevin Henkes read this out loud to the audience, and knew it was a winner.

I was even more pleased to have him read out loud my favorite all time Henkes passage--the sequence in Julius the Baby of the World where Lily reads what she has written about Julius. That has more bite than this book, where Penny is a gentler soul, and any feelings of hostility towards her new siblings are pretty muted. But this is...more
My 6 year old said it was not her favorite. I enjoyed the cute story.
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Kevin Henkes became an author/illustrator when he was nineteen years old, working on a card table in his bedroom.
Today he's the author of many award-winning picture books and novels.
More about Kevin Henkes...
Chrysanthemum Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse Kitten's First Full Moon Owen Wemberly Worried

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