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Benny and Penny in Just Pretend
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Benny and Penny in Just Pretend

(Benny and Penny)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  482 ratings  ·  76 reviews
How can Benny pretend to be a brave pirate when his pesky little sister, Penny, wants to tag along and is always asking for a hug? He tries to lose her, but when he does, he starts to feel a little lost himself. Penny proves her bravery, saves Benny from a bug, and gets the hug she wants.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by TOON Books
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  482 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
A great reading book and lots of fun for kids learning to read on their own. This was my 5 yr old's pick to read out loud and it only took about 15 minutes. Somewhere around a level 2 reader at least, it has engaging pictures and storylines that any kid can relate to. Highly recommend this series. ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoy that this graphic novel is accessible to emerging readers. The story follows a relatable discord between two siblings playing. It is a great introduction to graphic novels and would help new readers learn how to follow the sequence and structure of reading a graphic novel. With that being said, I think the story could have gone a bit deeper - it felt very surface level. Not necessarily a rich story, but a good introduction to this text format for young readers.
Great as a beginning reader, great for introducing kids to comics! There's a boy and girl character, there's sibling rivalry, there's conflict and resolution. A lot of good stuff going on. ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: early-reader
I think I might like this even more than the Oh No! one. Benny's little sister is driving him crazy. Despite wanting to play alone, Benny learns some important things about having a little sister and playing with her. ...more
Morgan Otis
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This story follows Benny and his sister, Penny throughout a fantastic adventure. Benny just wants to play by himself and pretend to be a private, but his annoying little sister, Penny wants to play too and won’t stop asking Benny for a hug. In an attempt to get away from Penny, Benny ends up getting lost. Penny shows how brave she can be and saves her big brother, finally getting that hug she wants.
My first impression of this book was that it was kind of bland and boring. There is not that much
Mikhaila Ackerbauer
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic
1. Awards the book has received (if any)

2. Appropriate grade level(s): Kindergarten- 2nd

3. Original 3-line summary: Benny is playing as a pirate and his sister wants to join but he will not let her. Instead he has her hide in a box and waits a while before he comes back. When he finds her they decide to play pirates together.

4. Original 3-line review: This book is not one that I would read again. While the illustrations are very cute, the dialogue is unkind. However, this book would be useful
Sierra P
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Age 4-7

This short picture book (roughly 30 pages) would be a very interesting text for moderately leveled, early readers. The pages are broken up to appear as comic strips, acting out individual scenes. The story tells of two mouse siblings, a brother and a younger sister. There is conflict between the brother, Benny not wanting Penny to play his pretend pirate games. By the end of the story, Benny learns to be grateful to have Penny be by his side. There is a fair amount of dialogue and a well
Sarah Harper
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is a good text to talk about how to treat friends. We could also discuss pretend from real life. We could immolate, play and engineer our own infrastructure similar to what they played with in this text. The animal characters make it fun, and light for young readers. We could talk about the characters and decide what each one of them are doing.
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-4
This book is great for younger children to read with great illustrations an a few words. The story is well done that explains that treating a sibling in a rude way can hurt their feelings and anyone can feel guilty on how they treat their siblings. As well this story is great for young children to enjoy that is short and sweet but are able to understand the story based on the illustrations.
This series has really appealed to my kids. The simple stories and text alongside eloquent pictorial storytelling makes for a fun experience.

Plus, who can't relate to being terribly mean to a sibling, and then turning around and having a great time with them?
Olivia S
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Womp womp. Cute illustrations, and the story is nice and wholesome I guess, but it's not quite there. I wouldn't mind kids reading it, but I don't think it's particularly good. Wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it. ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ugh, these characters are my life! This author understands parents!
Carrie Norris
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great graphic novel for beginning readers!
Liz Todd
So cute! And perfect for early readers.
Apr 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Benny actually calls Penny a dumb little sister and that is horrific. and also weird.
Dec 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved by kids and adults in my household. One of those books that have an x-factor that you can't describe but it works amazingly well. ...more
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Benny and Penny in Just Pretend by Geofrey Hayes is a Graphic Novel set up much like a comic book. It's a story of a mouse, Benny, who just wants to be a pirate. But he gets easily irritated at his sister, Penny, who just wants to play with him. So Benny tricks Penny, and looses her. He thinks its great at first, but then he realizes things just aren't the same.

Text-to-self: I have a younger brother who is always tagging along with me, even though we are seven years apart! I understand how havin
Courtney Nations
Genre: Graphic Novel

Format: Picture Book

Award(s): No awards

Summary: When Benny is playing pirates, his little sister Penny wants to join. However, Benny does not want his little sister tagging along and playing with him because pirates are brave and she is not. He tries tricking her, being mean to her, and hiding. None of which works. He then tells her to go hide and he will find her. So, Penny does just that. While Penny is hiding, Benny sneaks off to play pirates by himself like he wanted to.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Benny and Penny in Just Pretend by Geoffrey Hayes follows an insistent little sister who wants to play with her brother, who wants to play alone.

Penny wants to play with her brother who is playing Pirate. Penny wants to be a Pirate too, but tips over the box. Benny hides from his siter but is discovered. Benny calls Penny dumb and a bad sister. Benny starts a hide and seek game but won't really play. When he finally looks for Penny she is gone, and Benny starts to worry. Penny suggests a place t
Rachel Devine
Dec 21, 2016 marked it as to-read
• Booklist Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth
• Maryland Blue Crab Young Readers Honor Book
• Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year
• Kirkus Reviews Best of 2009 Continuing Series
• Iowa Goldfinch Award
2) Grades: Preschool-1
3) this book is about an older brother and younger sister mouse named Benny and Penny. Benny is playing alone when Penny comes over and wants to play, Benny says no and tries to get rid of her. But when she disappears he gets worried and starts
Dariana Carlon
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Benny and Penny in Just Pretend" is a book about two siblings play pretend. They both play pretend to be brave pirates. The brother and sister argue because the older brother doesn’t want to play with his younger sister. The author has different books about the same mice. This book at the end explains how each story is related to his personal childhood.

The book is a comic style, but still is like a normal book. The pictures are easy to follow and there is borders. The images are panel to panel
Mar 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
Hard to believe that the Benny and Penny series are Geisel award-winners, because I've come to expect more zaniness & FUNNY writing (Dr. Seuss, Mo Willems) from controlled-vocabulary books (meaning books with only a small set number of easy words for children who are learning to read). I could not believe that Art Spiegelman and Francois Mouly (of The Complete Maus) fame were the art directors for this series because it actually has an old-fashioned feel to it. However, this is a really cute and ...more
Kayla Hartmann
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Benny and Penny in Just Pretend is set up to be a simple read comic book. Benny is Penny's older brother. Like most older siblings, they feel as playing with their younger sibling is a chore. Benny is trying to play with his rocket ship but his younger sister Penny keeps bothering him to play. Their mother tells Benny that he needs to be nice and play with Penny, so he decides to play hide and seek. Benny has Penny hide first, but then doesn't go looking for her.

This book is set up very simple
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is about Benny who does not want to play with his little sister Penny. Benny just wants to play pirates, but Penny will not stop bugging him. The narrative story is very relatable, because every one can understand fighting with siblings. This graphic novel is easy to follow as compared to other graphic novels, and it's intended audience is definitely younger children. The panels are very simple, and do not cover much time in between. What I found very interesting was that the author ne ...more
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, easyreader, comics
Not quite as good as the second Benny and Penny book; I think Hayes was smart to get rid of the authorial directions that are at the beginning and end of this title. The sibling interactions are definitely true to life, although I'm not a huge fan of Benny calling a Penny a cry-baby (which seems like it may be a recurring theme through the series). The illustrations look like they're done in colored pencil to me, although there's no note to confirm that. There's a softness to the style and color ...more
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Benny and Pennin Just Pretend was written by Goffery Hayes. He had set up a this simple easy to read comic book for a younger audience. Benny is Penny’s older brother, and they are like most other children that are brother and sister. He does not enjoy playing with his younger sister at first. Benny wants to play with his favorite rocket ship, but his sister keeps trying to intervene. His mom encourages him to play with his sister, so they play a game of hide and seek. The book is written from o ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel was a family friendly story about a brother and sister mouse. It reminded me so much of when I was in elementary school and I believe that this story will take its readers back to a time when they were younger. Young readers will also connect to this story, especially if they have siblings or cousins. Throughout the story Benny's younger sister, Penny, just wants to play with him. It brought me back to when I was little with my younger cousin. She used to follow me everywhere, ...more
This book follows a brother and sister as they have problems with arguing because the older brother doesn't want to play with his younger sister. This comic book is easy to follow as it moves from panel to panel and doesn't show much time passing between each of the panels. The book is unique as it is a fictionalized version of the authors own experiences with his younger sister. This makes it good for young children because they can relate it to their own life and it can teach lessons to siblin ...more
A lot better than the previous one we read in this series, Toy Breaker. The story is familiar and, not that I require that of a children's book but it actually promotes a little lesson. A similar book on sibling rivalry that I enjoyed (but a proper picture book, not comic book) is Please, Louise! ... ...more
Justyn Rampa
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it
After reading two AMAZING children's graphic novels, this one fell a bit short for me. The basic set-up is that Benny and Penny are two mice siblings with Benny being the older brother and Penny the younger sister.

They are a bit harsh with each other and I think Benny gets off a little too easy for calling Penny names, but the illustrations are cute and the subject matter is certainly appropriate. Not contemplating any great mysteries here, just a game of pretend.
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Geoffrey Hayes has written and illustrated over forty children’s books, including the extremely popular series of early readers Otto and Uncle Tooth, the classic Bear By Himself, and When the Wind Blew by Caldecott Medal-winning author Margaret Wise Brown.

Other books in the series

Benny and Penny (6 books)
  • Benny and Penny in The Big No-No!
  • Benny and Penny in the Toy Breaker: TOON Level 2
  • Benny and Penny in Lights Out!: TOON Level 2
  • Benny and Penny in Lost and Found!: TOON Level 2
  • Benny and Penny in How To Say Goodbye: TOON Level 2

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