Penny and Her Marble
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Penny and Her Marble (Mouse Books)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  619 ratings  ·  152 reviews
In the third easy-to-read book about Penny the mouse, written by Caldecott Medalist and bestselling author Kevin Henkes, Penny finds a beautiful marble on her neighbor's lawn and must decide whether or not to keep it. With age-appropriate vocabulary, compelling characters, and a memorable storyline, Penny and her Marble is just right for beginning readers and was named a 2...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Greenwillow Books
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Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg SloanNavigating Early by Clare VanderpoolDoll Bones by Holly BlackEscape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris GrabensteinFlora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Newbery 2014
49th out of 94 books — 359 voters
We are in a Book! by Mo WillemsNot a Box by Antoinette PortisThere is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo WillemsI Want My Hat Back by Jon KlassenFirst the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
(Theodor Seuss) Geisel Awards and Honors
24th out of 39 books — 16 voters

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Community Reviews

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Destinee Sutton
This is sort of a junior version of "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe. Penny takes a marble she find in the grass and then feels sick with guilt that she may have stolen it.

The ending isn't quite as cute as Penny and Her Doll, but this book is definitely another shining example of Henkes' gift for writing great stories for very young readers where every word counts.
Catherine Nichols
Ah, the power of guilt. As Edgar Allen Poe fans know, there's no escaping it. Penny, the mouse heroine of Henke's easy-reader series, learns this the hard way when she spots a marble on her neighbor's lawn. The marble, big, shiny and as blue as the sky, proves irresistible. It seemed to say to Penny: "Take me home." And so she does.

Guilt soon plants itself in Penny's heart, and she hides the marble in her dresser drawer. At dinner she loses her appetite when she notices how the oranges look like...more
Holly Smith
The book I thought that should be nominated for the 2013 Caldecott Medal was Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes. This book is about Penny, a small mouse, who one day finds a marble on the ground in a neighbors yard. After picking it home and taking it home she finds the guilt of taking the marble was too much and returns the marble back to its spot. I felt that this was a good story for children to learn about asking before you take something. You don't know what could belong to who and if the...more
This afternoon I got my hands on an ARC of Penny and Her Marble and I am delighted and cannot wait to add a real copy to my shelves in the new year. Kevin Henkes books are awesome and the Penny books are just plain fabulous. As very early chapter books I have yet to find anything just quite as excellent and the Penny books are excellent. Lyrical and full of a great moral lesson, Penny finds a marble and as a reader one must decide if it really is her marble for the keeps. Henkes tells a story th...more
Oct 02, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children starting to read chapter books
Shelves: 2013, childrens
This is a sweet early-reader chapter book that helps children learn a lesson without being overly preachy. The narrative is short and there are a lot of pages, so younger children won't be intimidated by the length of the book.

The watercolor illustrations are terrific, just as I've come to expect from Mr. Henkes. The characters are expressive and adorable. Overall, it's a fun, fast read that I would recommend for younger school-age children.
VERY CUTE! Kevin Henkes does a fantastic job once again at showing the feelings and behaviors of young children. In this book he wonderfully illustrates (in words and pictures) the guilt/shame of taking something that might not be yours to take. Penny's feelings are crystal clear, and Henkes helps the reader feel for her as well.
This is the first "reader" I've seen by Kevin Henkes. It is broken down into little chapters, so the child can feel more like a big kid reading a chapter book. As with all of the Henkes mouse books, 'Penny and Her Marble' deals with a very real childhood topic-- this time, the very real guilt a child might feel after inadvertantly "stealing" something. I think all kids go through this, so it's a nice topic to cover for readers who will encounter the confusion (and sometimes guilt) that ensue. Ch...more
In this easy reader chapter book, Penny the mouse finds a shiny blue marble in her neighbor's yard and takes it without asking. Filled with worry and regret, Penny hides the marble and feels sick with guilt all night long.

The next day, Penny returns the marble, clearing her conscience, only to find that her neighbor placed the marble there hoping somebody would find it and enjoy it. This revelation makes Penny's marble all the more special and beautiful in her eyes.

Great topic, well written, wi...more
Penny and Her Marble / Kevin Henkes / 2013
Genre: fiction
Format: easy reader
Plot summary: Penny feels guilty after taking a beautiful blue marble that she sees in Mrs. Goodwin's grass, but gets a pleasant surprise when she goes to return it the next day.
Considerations: none

Review citation: School Library Journal, vol 59, issue 2
"Readers will empathize with Penny and her conflicted emotions. The short sentences with plenty of repetition and superb pacing make this title perfect for beginning read...more
Sam Bloom
Kevin Henkes has a gift. Well, he has several gifts, actually. First, the guy can draw facial expressions on animals better than anyone else. He's the Kadir Nelson of animals (there's no higher praise I can give than that). Then there's his ability to write characters that are highly appealing while also remaining highly realistic. And how about the fact that he's mastered this in three different formats - picture books, chapter books, and now with the Penny books, early readers. I've yet to be...more
Sydney Freel
This is a story of a young girl (or mouse) who is faced with questions of morality after being haunted by her conscience. In an age appropriate storyline, Penny found a beautiful marble in somebody else’s lawn. She picked it up and hurried home to play with it. It wasn’t long after this that she began to feel remorse and worry about taking something that didn’t belong to her. Penny grew paranoid about the marble. She hid the marble, lost sleep over it, and worried so much that she gave herself a...more
Katie Levin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jordan Croom
Penny and her Marble by Kevin Henkes, tells the story of a young mouse, Penny, who finds a marble in her neighbor’s yard. She takes the blue marble back to her home, but begins to feel guilty when she sees her neighbor looking in the yard where the marble once sat. Penny returns the marble only to find out that her neighbor Mrs. Goodwin had placed the marble in her yard for someone to find.
This book is a great way to introduce kids into the structure of chapter books, and allows them to get used...more
Kiera Burnett
This Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book artfully teaches the lesson that many children struggle with, wanting something that is not theirs. In Henkes novel, Penny finds a beautiful blue marble in a neighbor's yard and immediately takes it home. That evening, Penny realizes that the Marble was not hers to take, but does not know how to undo what she did. I especially enjoyed the passage on page 35 where Penny wakes up happy and then suddenly remembers the marble with a sense of dread. While reading...more
Sarah Wilbern
Henkes, Kevin. (2013). Penny AND HER MARBLE. New York: HarperCollins Children's Books.
Geisel Award, Williamsburg Library
Picture Book Soak

The book would be easy for students to read, but I think the book wouldn’t hold their attention. The pictures were blocked off and they didn’t take up the entire page. But, the pictures did go along with what was being told in the story. The story involved a mouse named Penny who liked to use her imagination. One day she found a penny, and she couldn’t stop t...more
Jessica Cain
In the story Penny and Her Marble penny was an innocent girl just taking a walk around the block when she found a marble in Mrs. Goodwin’s lawn. She was discreetly trying to pick the marble up, which automatically showed that she knew what she was doing was wrong. She then proceeded to take the marble to her house, but had a sick feeling for taking something that wasn't hers. Penny hid the marble in her room and tried to forget about what she did. Her parents later noticed that something was wro...more
Kathryn Anne Russell
Penny and her Marble by Kevin Henkes is about Penny, a young, female mouse, and her guilt after taking a marble that isn't hers out of her neighbor's front yard. Penny finds the marble while she is walking her doll around her neighborhood. She later sees her neighbor looking in the yard and Penny feels guilty for taking the marble. All day long after that, Penny finds it difficult to enjoy the things she normally enjoys, such as baking sugar cookies and playing outside. Her parents sense that so...more
Paul Farbman
Jan 28, 2014 Paul Farbman rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children around the second grade level
Recommended to Paul by: Terry Benton
Penny and Her Marble is a 2014 Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor Book. This book follows the story of a personified mouse named Penny. When she finds a marble belonging to her neighbor and takes it home with her, Penny begins to have second thoughts about whether or not she should return it to its rightful owner.

The story and illustrations show a great deal of imagination on the part of Penny's character. The story also shows the value of being honest and doing the right thing.

The cover states that...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
While out for a stroll with her doll, Penny spots a marble in her neighbor's yard. It is a shiny blue marble, and Penny instantly falls in love with it. Impulsively, Penny nabs the marble. And almost immediately, she is filled with regret and remorse and anguish. Should she have taken the marble? she asks herself. Has she done the wrong thing? Should she return it?

Kevin Henkes has done it again. He has dropped us right inside the mind and heart of a small child. He has bestowed on us a main char...more
This was a short picture book but a very good one. This book was about a mouse named Penny who found a blue marble in her neighbor, Mrs. Goodwin’s yard. She went for a walk and saw it laying on the ground. She picked it up, took it home and played with it for a while. Penny thought she saw her neighbor out in her yard so she hid and put the marble in her dresser. Everything Penny saw reminded her of this marble. Her mom thought she was acting funny but Penny suggested she was ok. All night Penny...more
Jasmine Lambert
‘Penny and Her Marble’ written by Kevin Henkes has all of the components needed for beginner readers who are just stepping foot into the chapter book world. With its large bold text and colorful pictures on every page this story attracts its readers. Penny and Her Marble is an easy read with four short chapters giving its new readers the perfect amount of confidence while reading and completing the book. However there is an underlying message to this story that I did not feel children would be c...more
Kristi Scramlin
Penny and Her Marble is the perfect story for young readers to teach them not to take things that don't belong to them. In the story Penny and her bunny Rose discover a marble on their daily walk. Penny brings it home with her but starts to feel guilty about taking the marble out of her neighbors yard. In order to get the marble off her mind the next day Penny does what she thinks is right.This would work well in younger grades if your students are having a hard time sharing or start the "finder...more
Natalie Payton
Penny and Her Marble is a light hearted children’s picture book. Penny, the main character, takes her doll Rose for a walk in a stroller outside of her house. While walking with her doll, she ponders and imagines various different scenes outside such as a forest, or a sea. She suddenly spots a shiny marble outside of Mrs. Goodwin’s house and takes it home with her. She plays with the marble in her room and worries that Mrs. Goodwin will wonder where the marble went. Penny feels guilty about taki...more
Anna Reid
Alternative Summary
Penny finds a blue marble
Ends up putting the marble back in Ms. Goodwin’s yard
Never does she stop thinking of the marble
Never walked further than Ms. Goodwin’s house
Young and worried for taking the marble

Acts like she is sick
Now the marble belongs to Penny
Doesn’t feel good for taking the marble

Henkes is the author
Ecstatic when she gets to keep the marble
Rose, her doll, goes everywhere with her

Ms. Goodwin gives the marble to Penny
Always pretending when she goes on walks
Rolls th...more
Samantha Simmons
It starts when Penny stumbles across a blue marble in Mrs. Goodwin’s yard. It was so beautiful and shiny she just could not resist from taking it. She loved it at first, but she quickly began to feel guilty about taking it without permission. She can’t eat dinner because she sees everything as a marble and her guilty continues to grow. Penny then decides to return the marble to Mrs. Goodwin because she simply could not keep it. After Penny put the marble back where she found it she heard Mrs. Go...more
Penny pushes her doll Rose up and down the block, and one day she finds a blue marble in front of Mrs. Goodwin’s house. She picks it up and plays with it all day. However, she starts to feel bad about taking the marble without asking Mrs. Goodwin. She can’t sleep that night, so the next day she drops the marble back in Mrs. Goodwin’s yard. Before she can run away quick enough, Mrs. Goodwin asks why Penny doesn’t want the marble. You see, Mrs. Goodwin put the marble in the lawn hoping some child...more
Madison Young
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brenda Kahn
No one captures the emotional highs and lows of childhood quite like Kevin Henkes. This one tackles the ethics of found objects beautifully.
May 17, 2013 June rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Henkes fans, lost & found possesions, behavior requests
Recommended to June by: Cap Choices
Penny feels guilty about taking something that is not hers and does the right thing. Henkes gets it just right. I love Penny's imagination.
Rachael Stein
I have a feeling I'll be writing a full review of this later in the year as we consider it for our Mock Newbery shortlist.
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Henrico Youth Boo...: Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes 3 7 Nov 14, 2013 12:06PM  
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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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