When a young girl finds a lucky penny in the park, her grandpa tells her the penny is no longer lucky as it cannot do what it once used to. He then tells her stories, shown through pictures, of when a penny had power, and captures its history and uses over its 155 years. Vivid illustrations conjure memories of pennies in a fountain, in a cake, for a pony ride, the tooth fairy and much more. The power of pennies is poignantly captured as they team up in a tug-of-war of heads against tails.
Alongside the beautiful scenes are facts and fun uses of the penny. Though the little coin no longer has value as a currency, its significance lies in the meaning it brings to daily living, language and learning.
A simple rhyming scheme and related art bring out penny sayings such as A Penny for Your Thoughts, or As Shiny as a New Penny or Pennies from Heaven. The penny was originally slated to be eliminated in the fall of 2012, so the story is set against a background of autumn, rendering a lovely complement of the copper-coloured coin and the rich hues of fall. Gorgeous maple trees with colourful leaves echo the maple leaves embossed on the penny’s reverse. Though the copper penny was phased out of circulation on February 4, 2013, out-of sight must not mean out-of-mind for the new generations.
This book is a tribute to the retired Canadian penny. www.susanharris.ca