Tuesday, May 22, 2012
On the Shelf
A kindergarten teacher brought Pennies in a Jar by Dori Chacanos to the library office yesterday morning. Occasionally, she pulls books to preview at home, and she read this aloud to her elementary school daughters last night - without finishing the last page due to her tears. Illustrated by Ted Lewin (which made me love it for the artwork alone), it is the story of a young boy whose father has gone to fight in World War II. Day by day, event by event, the readers learn about the occupations and circumstances in that era. Most of all, the boy's constant reminiscing and remembering about his father's actions, words, wisdom, and stories find their way tenderly into the story.
"And then I remembered what he had said. If something is important enough, you just have to do it."
He saves his pennies to purchase a special gift for his dad's birthday - and eventually uses it to pose for a photograph by a pony named Freedom, a picture the photographer calls a humdinger. On that last page, the boy's letter to his dad is precious. The author's note provides interesting facts to support the text. We added this book to our list of titles to read aloud in the 2012-13 school year.