Penny & Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars
Maria Gianferrari, Author
Thyra Heder, Illustrator
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fiction, Jun. 14, 2016
Suitable for Ages: 4-7
Themes: Sleepover, Dogs, Stargazing, Creativity, Solutions, Friendships
Opening: “Hooray!” said Penny. “Tomorrow is Sleepover Under the Stars Night, Jelly!”
Synopsis: Penny is excited when she receives an invitation to a sleepover under the stars from the recreation center. She calls her four best friends to see if they are attending. Penny begins to make a list of what she needs: sleeping bag, pillow, PJs, book and Jelly. Then Penny realizes that the invitation says “no pets allowed.” She comes up with an idea to make a pretend Jelly — out of paper, yarn, fleece, vegetables, marshmallow, cotton balls and clay. But, her creation just isn’t her beloved Jelly. Penny must find a solution.
Why I like Penny & Jelly:
Maria Gianferrari has written a perfect summer read for children about a determined girl and her devoted dog. Slumber parties and outdoor sleepovers are a summer tradition for children. I especially like that this slumber party is about stargazing, a great activity for children to learn about constellations. Penny is a fun-loving character full of heart, who sports mismatched socks with every page turn. She’s imaginative, curious, enjoys picking out star constellations, and is resourceful in finding a solution to her problem. Thyra Heder’s warm watercolor illustrations are cheerful, expressive and eye-catching. The characters are diverse. I love the book cover. Verdict: This captivating story will be a popular summer read with children and parents as it lends itself to many discussions. Visit Penny & Jelly at their website.
Maria Gianferrari is also the author of Penny & Jelly: The School Show.