Penny and Her Marble

Common Sense Media says

Moral dilemma, more emotional depth in cute Penny story.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

A bit of a lesson in emotional intelligence as Penny is troubled by having taken something off a neighbor's lawn that she didn't have permission to take.

Positive messages

Make sure it's OK to take something from someone's private property or you might end up feeling guilty. Say thank you when someone gives you something nice, no matter how small.

Positive role models

Penny is a polite, thoughtful girl who feel uncomfortable when she fears she may have taken something she shouldn't have. She takes responsibility to set things right and returns the next day to put the marble back where she found it. She's also wonderfully imaginative in her play, pretending, alternately, that she's in a forest, flying in an airplane, or in a boat on the sea as she strolls the sidewalk with her doll Rose in a tiny doll stroller. Mrs. Goodwin is kind and generous. Penny's mom is attentive and notices when Penny seems to be troubled about something.

Violence & scariness

Penny dreams that the marble grows so big it smashes her dresser.

Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Penny and Her Marble is the third volume in the Kevin Henkes series that began with Penny and Her Song, featuring an adorable little girl mouse and her warm family. Here Penny faces a moral dilemma after she spots a shiny blue marble on a neighbor's lawn, takes it home, and hides it. Worried that she shouldn't have taken something that wasn't hers, she sets out to return it the next day, and is surprised by her neighbor's response. Emotionally layered and engaging, Penny and Her Marble may spark some interesting discussions about how doing something you're not sure is right can make you feel.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Penny takes her doll Rose (introduced in Penny and Her Doll), for a stroll in the stroller and spots a shiny object on Mrs. Goodwin's lawn. It's a pretty blue marble that's "like a piece of the sky." She takes it and stealthily brings it home. She worries that Mrs. Goodwin will miss her marble (even dreams she comes to demand it), and the next day she guiltily puts it back where she found it. As she's leaving, Mrs. Goodwin comes out an, to Penny's surprise, asks, "Oh, Penny, don't you want that pretty blue marble?" She explains that she put it there, hoping someone would find it. She assures Penny it's hers now, and Penny returns hope happy and relieved.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

PENNY AND HER MARBLE is a surprisingly complex follow-up to the simpler Penny and Her Doll, and has more of the nuanced emotional punch of the series starter, Penny and Her Song. Author-illustrator Kevin Henkes gets inside the head of a thoughtful little kid with a moral dilemma -- afraid she may have taken something she shouldn't have, and anxious to put things right so she can stop feeling uncomfortable. Her thoughtfulness and sense of responsibility is rewarded, thanks to the kindness and generosity of a neighbor.

Families can talk about...

  • Parents can talk about why Penny is troubled after she takes the marble. Have you ever done something you didn't feel good about afterward?

  • If you read the other books in the Penny series, how do you think this one compares?

  • Penny seems so much like a regular kid. How does having an animal in the kid role help make the story work? Are books with animal characters more fun than ones with human characters?

Book details

Author:Kevin Henkes
Illustrator:Kevin Henkes
Genre:Picture Book
Topics:Brothers and sisters, Cats, dogs, and mice, Great girl role models
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Greenwillow Books
Publication date:February 19, 2013
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4 - 8
Read alone:4 - 8
Available on:Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle, Nook, Paperback
Award:ALA Best and Notable Books

This review of Penny and Her Marble was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families