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Penny and Her Song (Mouse Books)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,067 Ratings  ·  148 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
Emily Woodard
Jul 15, 2015 Emily Woodard rated it it was amazing
I give this book 100 stars.

I liked Penny and Her Song. I liked it when she sung her song. I didn't like it when her parents told her not to wake the babies. I would tell my friends to read Penny and Her Song.
Colby Sharp
May 03, 2012 Colby Sharp rated it it was amazing
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.
Richie Partington
Mar 19, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 16, 2012 Becky rated it it was amazing
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
Katie Fitzgerald
Though I think a lot of people and bookstores have called this book a picture book, it’s really an easy reader divided into short chapters. Penny is a mouse like Lilly, and Chrysanthemum, and Owen, but she doesn’t have a big life-changing problem. Rather, she comes home from school wanting to share her special song, and discovers she must wait because the babies are asleep. It’s difficult to wait, but well worth it, because when she does finally share her song, everyone in the family loves it - ...more
Mar 01, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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
Dec 18, 2013 Jacoba rated it liked it
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 (
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.
Edward Sullivan
Feb 28, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it liked it
Shelves: early-readers
Good early reader with an exuberant Penny.
Rudy Regalado
Oct 09, 2016 Rudy Regalado rated it really liked it
Shelves: songs
Awards: Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth

Grade Level: Grades Pre K-3 Ages 4-8

Summary: In this book Penny the mouse struggles to sing her song to her parents or anyone who will listen, but they are constantly too busy for her. Penny continues to try to sing her song to anyone who will listen, and eventually she realizes the song is great for putting the babies to sleep.

Review: I liked this book, and I thought that it had a nice message to go with it. I liked how persistent Penny was and
Sep 23, 2015 Josiah rated it it was ok
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
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
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
Mary Ann
Mar 15, 2012 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Mar 06, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jul 03, 2013 Christine rated it did not like it
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
Penny is an exuberant little mouse who wants to sing her song to her family, but her parents “shush” her because the babies are sleeping, or because it’s dinnertime. After dinner, Penny finally has a chance to sing her song – and the whole family joins in for a joyful evening of singing. At the end of the night, Penny is afraid she’ll forget her song while she sleeps. Of course, the song is still on the tip of her tongue when she wakes up, and Penny is ready for another day of singing.

Working in
Dec 14, 2012 David rated it really liked it
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
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
Antoinette Evans
Apr 20, 2015 Antoinette Evans rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and its content. The story follows a small mouse named Penny who tries to teach her family the song she learned at school. However, her family is quite busy and can't seem to find the right time for Penny to share. I really enjoyed this story because I know a lot of children can relate to situations like this where they feel as though they can't get their parents attention. Especially if the kids have siblings. I think Kevin Henkes is very creative with merging ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it
This charming story is about a mouse who wants to sing her song, but her parents didn’t want her to wake the babies. Eventually Penny got to sing her song when everyone was awake and the song put the babies to sleep. Like all of Kevin Henks books, this story makes a delightful use of humorous language. Not only would young readers love this story but adults would also get a kick from this charming story.This story shows great family dynamics. Using this story is also a clever way to teach ...more
Dec 19, 2015 Laura rated it liked it

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
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
Mar 04, 2014 Katy rated it it was amazing
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
Annie Zuckerman
Oct 22, 2012 Annie Zuckerman rated it liked it
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
Oct 20, 2012 Katie rated it liked it
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 ...more
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
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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...

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  • Chester's Way
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