One Proud Penny by Randy Siegel


One Proud Penny by Randy Siegel, illustrated by Serge Bloch

Told in the voice of the penny itself, this picture book follows the life of a penny in public circulation. With a humorous tone, the book explains that pennies are often ignored or lost and then whisked back into use again. The metals that modern pennies are made of are compared with older pennies who would have been this penny’s parents and grandparents. Throughout the book, the journey of being spent and then being spent again and again is told. It’s enough to make all of us value the humble penny much more.

Siegel’s text is filled with humor and wonderful moments. Like the mourning of being sucked into vacuum cleaners multiple times or the pride of knowing that even though pennies are worth less than dollar bills, they are much stronger and last longer. There is a great flow to the book, moving from one place to the next in a series of hops and jumps that work to set a nice pace. The tone is one of information mixed with simple life lessons making this very readable.

Bloch’s illustrations are almost comic format but without the framing. He has dynamic loose line that creates characters who pass through the penny’s life quickly. Real pennies and other currency are used in the illustrations.

Funny and informative: that’s my 2 cents. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Roaring Brook Press.