Sunday, February 28, 2010

Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! by Geoffrey Hayes

Mom said a new kid moved in next door, so Benny does what any normal boy would do. Spy through a knothole in the backyard fence. And since Penny is a normal little sister, she wants to look too. Penny hopes the new kid is a girl because girls are nicer. Benny disagrees. “Girls are cry-babies. I hope it’s a boy!” he says.

The debate ends, however, when Benny realizes his sandbox pail is missing. Again Benny does what any normal boy would do. Jump to conclusions. “Maybe the new kid took it. Do you think the new kid climbed over the fence and came into our yard?”

Trying to get a closer look, Benny ends up falling into the neighbor’s yard. Penny follows. They discover big and scary footprints – monster footprints, they’re sure – and Benny’s missing pail. When Benny takes back his pail, there’s an encounter with the new kid. Mud is thrown, tears are shed, names are called, and a mistake is discovered.

Once again Toon-Books have published a winner – literally. Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! is the winner of the 2010 Geisel Medal for beginning readers. This is the second book in author Geoffrey Hayes’ Benny and Penny series. This simple graphic novel leads readers through a series of choices Benny and Penny make. Should they cross the fence into someone else’s yard? Should they take back what is rightfully theirs, even if it means facing a monster? Most importantly, can they admit a mistake?

But it’s not all choices and lessons. There’s laughs a-plenty. Penny sticks out her tongue at Benny and gives him razzberries. Benny SPLOPs in the mud, a board WHAPPs him in the face, and he is sprayed by a hose. “YEOW!”

Beginning readers will enjoy Benny and Penny in all their adventures including the first book in the series, Benny and Penny in Just Pretend, and the upcoming Benny and Penny in the Toy Breaker.

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