Monday, March 18, 2013

Penny and Her Marble

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 big orange marbles and the peas like little green ones. In bed that night she tosses and turns, and when she finally falls asleep, she dreams the marble grows so big it demolishes her dresser.

The next morning Penny makes a decision about the marble. Beginning readers, many of whom have probably struggled similarly with their conscience, will be relieved to see Penny do the right thing.

In Penny and Her Marble, Henkes has delivered yet another winner. In the Horn Book's March/April issue, he confesses the seeds of the story. When he was five, he swiped a plastic medallion from his neighbor and was stricken with guilt. See, crime does pay!

Penny and Her Marble
by Kevin Henkes
Greenwillow, 48 pages
Published: March 2013

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking just the other day about the when I was six-year-old and stole a pencil eraser on my family's Saturday trip to Woolworth's. The guilt was so excruciating that I snuck it back the next week. But was it guilt or fear?