"Self worth has no price tag!" That's the message Deborah Weed wants children to take from her new book, The Luckiest Penny. With warm and vivid illustrations by Ernest Socolov that pop off the page, Weed tells the story of two 1943 pure copper pennies: Allister, a shiny penny who has spent his life all alone in a protective case, and Henry, a penny who has been on several adventures. While Allister sits pristine in his case, Henry has been in the garbage, in a roll with other pennies, and even in a washing machine.
The two pennies, despite their different lives, are content, though Henry feels a bit sorry for Allister. Both Allister and Henry end up on the auction block, and I bet you can guess who gets the highest bid!
After reading The Luckiest Penny with my daughter, she and I had a fun time answering the discussion questions in the back of the book. We talked about self-worth, the things in life that are most valuable, things that make us feel lucky, and about living life to the fullest. I thought it was cute when she told me that because I'm her mom, I think she's perfect even when she's not. And she said she felt the same way about me.
She was especially interested in reading the blurb in the back of the book about the 40 pure copper pennies minted in the U.S. in 1943 by mistake. They are missing the traditional zinc-coated belly, and this error means these pennies are worth tens of thousands of dollars. Now I'm sure you can guess what happened next. Yup, she grabbed her change container and spent the evening weeding through her pennies. She was a bit disappointed that her oldest penny is from 1951.
Weed's passion for getting children to understand that we all are special in our own way and we should never undervalue ourselves shines through in The Luckiest Penny. I highly recommend the story for youngsters. Even though The Girl is a bit old for the story, she really enjoyed it.
Here's what The Girl (age 9) had to say about the book in her own words (mind you, she was really tired from summer camp, but she still insisted on having her say):
The Luckiest Penny is about two pennies who each have a life. One doesn't mind getting dirty. One wanted to stay clean. I liked this book. I would recommend other people read this story.
Deborah and I have exchanged a few e-mails since she found me on Twitter, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions. Stay tuned for the interview!
Disclosure: We received a free copy of The Luckiest Penny from the author for review purposes.