I’m honored that One Proud Penny is on this wonderful list:
2018-2019 Picture Books
Barnes, Derrick D – Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Cousteau, Philippe – Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids,
and a Hundred Sea Turtles
Daywalt, Drew – The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
Haring, Kay – Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing
John, Jory – The Bad Seed
Maloney, Brenna – Philomena’s New Glasses
Mosca, Julia Finley – The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin
Murray, Carol – Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs
Petty, Dev – Claymates
Reynolds, Aaron – Nerdy Birdy
Santat, Dan – After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again
Siegel, Randy – One Proud Penny
Sima, Jessie – Not Quite Narwhal
Verde, Susan – I am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness
Yousafzai, Malala – Malala’s Magic Pencil
“Who knew the life of a penny could be so exciting? Born in 1983, our copper (well, zinc and copper as we find out) narrator travels everywhere from New York City to Portland, Oregon, to Puerto Rico describing in colorful detail his many adventures along the way. Randy Siegel's quirky, informative text mixed with Serge Bloch's spare but exuberant illustrations (which make use of real pennies) make this book a must-have for lovers of American history or just a good story. A Neal Porter Book.”
Really appreciate the kind words!
“First person nonfiction picture books are hard to find. There was I, Fly. And now there’s One Proud Penny.
This charming book, with the narration in the voice of a 1973 penny, imaginatively tells all about the life of a coin. We learn that coins are made in Philadelphia. We see how they are saved and spent (and sometimes lost for a while). The book also delves into the history of the penny and how the material it’s made of us changed over time, and explores the images printed on a penny.
So is this book really nonfiction? The narrating penny tells us about all sorts of its adventures–stuck in a vacuum cleaner, washed in a washing machine and whirled in a dryer, forgotten on the floor of a Wisconsin, lodged under a stamp machine in a post office, and lying next to a busy street–that are all likely for pennies but impossible to attribute to a single coin. So I suppose technically this isn’t nonfiction. But I think it will be read when kids are learning about units of money and will do a lot to help them understand factual information. So maybe it’s not going to be eligible for the Sibert Medal, but it’s going to delight kids in math classes for a long time to come!”
From The Salt Lake Tribune:
One Proud Penny” by Randy Siegel, illustrated by Serge Bloch
So, technically this book isn’t about a president. But it is about that grand old American icon, the 1-cent piece that features the profile of a president along with the words “Liberty” and “In God We Trust.” “One Proud Penny” follows the adventures of a single penny born in 1983 in Philadelphia (home of the Liberty Bell and Patti LaBelle, cream cheese and cheesesteaks, as well as the United States Mint) as it travels from pocket to pocket across the USA. I can guarantee that after reading this informative and clever book, you’ll never look at a stray penny in the same way again.
One Proud Penny has been named to the 2018 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List:
"The Texas Library Association’s Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List (Topaz) highlights
recently published nonfiction gems for readers of all ages. Adult services and youth
services librarians serve on committees consider hundreds of nonfiction titles for adults and youth respectively. The librarians debate the merits, appeal, and importance of the works to curate a list of engaging nonfiction titles intended to reveal new or little-known information, open doors to other worlds or introduce fresh voices. With titles for adults and children PreK-grade 12, there is something for everyone on the Topaz list!"
There’s a lot of great information smuggled into Randy Siegel’s tale of a single penny’s adventure, from its birth in the Philadelphia mint to a sojourn in a sewer grate to a long time-out in a penny jar, then back into someone’s pocket again. “As my man Lincoln once said: ‘Whatever you are, be a good one,’ Which is the law I live by, so I try to be the best penny I can,” the penny notes. Along the way, the penny’s story blends fiction and nonfiction elements to describe the coin’s metal content, the pictures engraved on him, and how many of him there are in the world. A brief history at the back of the book describes American coins from beginning to end. -- Caroline Luzzatto
It was a nice summer for One Proud Penny. Thanks to many wonderful teachers and librarians across the country, the book is doing well and attracting lots of attention, particularly on social media. I am really grateful for all the support. Thanks also to the children's book bloggers out there for their kind words about my latest effort.
I can't wait to get started this month. Nothing better than reading to kids who love books.
One Proud Penny, Eastchester, NY store, third row center!
One Proud Penny
by Randy Siegel , illus. by Serge Bloch
If the luster of a newfound penny has dulled for today's kids, One Proud Penny is sure to polish it right up again.
The starring penny in Randy Siegel's (Grandma's Smile; My Snake Blake) bright shiny picture book was minted in 1983 in Philadelphia ("the home of the Liberty Bell, Patti LaBelle, cream cheese, cheese steaks, soft pretzels, and the United States Mint." The affable penny narrator is actually a photo of a real penny, often with a face, arms and legs inked in by French illustrator and cartoonist Serge Bloch (The Big Adventure of a Little Line; My Snake Blake; Saturday).
This penny gets around, and a whimsical U.S. map shows how far he's traveled. (The flat little guy describes freezing his tail off on a garage floor in Green Bay, Wis., "until I got picked up, and used to pay for stuff several times.") The penny's enthusiasm is contagious as he shares his story. There are 250 billion pennies in circulation, for instance. Also, pennies are now 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper, but in 1943, his "great-uncle" was steel. The penny is happy about the president emblazoned upon him, too: "As my man Lincoln once said: 'Whatever you are, be a good one.' " (He tries to be the best penny he can.)
Readers may truly be inspired by this stalwart coin who endures bouncing around dryers and spending a year in a sewer drain, and still manages to be cheerfully philosophical about it. A brief history of U.S. coins and "Interesting Facts About Pennies" add to the sheen. --Karin Snelson, children's & YA editor, Shelf Awareness
Discover: This fun, fascinating picture book, narrated by a goodnatured, rather stoic penny, will have children looking at coins with new respect.
Wonderful news! Congrats to Neal and Serge for their brilliant work!
From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Ever wondered about the life of a penny? This made-from-copper narrator is happy to share. Told in a breezy tone, from the perspective of a penny, this engaging story is sprinkled with tidbits about the penny's history. For instance, the narrator's great-uncle, from 1943, was made out of steel, "like Superman!" The narrator tries its best to embody the advice of Abraham Lincoln, whose face and memorial appear on the front and back of the coin: "Whatever you are, be a good one." Pen-and-ink cartoon illustrations in combination with photographs of actual pennies capture the humorous tone. The book touches on the controversy of whether to discontinue the penny, though the narrator is understandably biased. Additional material at the end outlines a history of the U.S. monetary system and its ties to the start of the nation. VERDICT A light introduction to money, starring the often underappreciated penny. A worthy addition to lower elementary school collections.—Suzanne Myers Harold, formerly at Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR
Siegel, Randy One Proud Penny; illus. by Serge Bloch. Porter/Roaring Brook, 2017 [40p]
ISBN 978-1-62672-235-4 $17.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 2-4
You want to meet a guy who’s been around? Say hi to the penny. Born in 1983 in the Philadelphia Mint, where most of his family is from, he’s seen it all and done it all: freezing on a garage floor over the winter in Wisconsin, languishing under a stamp machine in Ohio. He’s been bounced around in dryers, sucked into vacuum cleaners, slept under the grate of a sewer drain, picked from a pocket, and (perhaps the unkindest cut of all) spent on a pair of purple polyester pants at (where else?) J.C. Penney. He’s not as coppery as his ancestors—or as steely as his 1943 great-uncle—but he’s still got some panache, as he’s continually picked up and stashed away in drawers and jars and bowls and backpacks, biding his time for one more adventure. Our garrulous penny narrator and his kin are photographs of the real thing, personified by Bloch with a few deft ink strokes for facial expression and spindly ink limbs for mobility. Their history and exploits play out against largely white background, with settings and humans roughly sketched in and enhanced with some reckless splashes of color. A closing note offers a whirlwind history of American coinage, packed with plenty of quotable trivia and a discussion of whether the penny has outlived its usefulness. “So what’s a penny worth these days?” the penny himself inquires; “It depends on whom you ask.” Costing double its face value to make, it’s worse than worthless—but it’s also “the most widely used coin currently in circulation.” Sounds like the start of a lively primary-graders’ debate.