has already mastered picture books (Caldecott winner Kitten's First Full Moon
) and middle-grade novels (Olive's Ocean
), 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 are sleeping. However, this isn't a story of mean parents who stifle creativity, but rather, that there is a time for everything. As far as ease of reading, this is one of the easier early chapter books I've seen (can be read aloud in under 5 minutes and contains only two short chapters) and is relatively simple. I liked it very much, but didn't think it was really a standout.