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Shenaaz Nanji
Illustrated by Rossitza Skortcheva Penney
Toronto, TSAR Productions, 1993. 24pp,
paper, $4.95, ISBN 0-920661-36-X. Both
Distributed by TSAR Publications, P.O. Box 6996,
Station A, Toronto, Ont. M5W 1X7. CIP


Shenaaz Nanji
Illustrated by Rossitza Skortcheva Penney
Toronto, TSAR Productions, 1993. 24pp,
paper, $4.95, ISBN 0-920661-35-1. CIP

Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8

Reviewed by Gillian Martin Noonan

Volume 22 Number 4
1994 September

Teeny Weeny Penny tells the story of Shaira, a young Asian girl, who finds a dull, brown penny while making mudpies. She decides that the penny is a lucky penny and will not trade it with her friend for any toy he has or with her brother for candy. Neither does Shaira take her mother's advice and put the penny in the bank to make more pennies. Shaira's father understands her feelings, helps her make the penny shiny again, and gives her three other pennies, which she uses to trade for a toy and candy and to put in the bank.

Shaira is once again the main character in Grandma's Heart. This story tells of her relationship with Nani-Ma, her grandmother. Shaira, like many young children, is unsure of sharing her grandmother's love and attention with others in her family. While Nani-Ma is away visiting another grandchild, Shaira begins to understand that she can love more than one person.

Teeny Weeny Penny is an appealing story with which many children should identify. The exploration of feelings central to Grandma's Heart, on the other hand, may be difficult for some children to understand. The pencil illustrations found in both books unfortunately do not bring the stories to life. Little of the delight that the lucky penny brings to Shaira can be seen on her face. The illustrations found in Grandma's Heart are often poorly connected with the text.

The multicultural nature of these stories may make them desirable for some libraries. Teeny Weeny Penny is the better of the two. Its true potential lies in its being told without the text to children. Neither story, however, can be considered a must-have book for every library collection.

Gillian Martin Noonan is a teacher-librarian living in Old Perlican, Newfoundland

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