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Mary's Penny by Richard Holland,Tanya Landman
ISBN: 0763647683
ISBN13: 978-0763647681
Author: Richard Holland,Tanya Landman
Book title: Mary's Penny
Other Formats: lrf txt rtf lit
Publisher: Candlewick (July 13, 2010)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1738 kb
Size ePub version: 1366 kb
Size fb2 version: 1255 kb
Category: Literature & Fiction

With whimsical illustrations, a feminist fable proves that brains outweigh brawn when three siblings enter a most enlightening competition. (Ages 5-7)Long, long ago, in the golden, olden days, a farmer devised an ingenious competition to determine who should inherit his farm. Which of his children — Franz, Hans, or Mary — could fill the house with something that cost a mere penny? Did straw do the trick? Were feathers sufficient? Or did it take something a little more creative? Tanya Landman’s retelling of a traditional tale, illustrated with Richard Holland’s stylish artwork, reminds us that sometimes the greatest value can be had for only a penny.

Books reviews
Hurrah for girls/women. Brains over brawn! Agricultural angle - many women run farms/ranches and have the brains to keep things going. There are plenty of ways to get the heavy work done, just be creative. That's what Mary did.
I didn't know if my son would go for this, since he was in a heavy superhero-explosions-robots phase, but I brought it in the car one day when we went on errands. He was captivated. It's a good introduction to discussing how people had different beliefs in the past, and how far we've come (or haven't). I particularly liked how Mary doesn't reproach her father and brothers - even when they're kind of jerks. Um, I mean, they have what our family calls "strange ideas" about what women can and can't do. She just shows them calmly what she has to offer. Nicely done.
Once upon a time, a farmer needed to make an important decision. Which of his beefy sons, Hans or Franz, would inherit his farm? He did not consider his daughter, for at the time, no one believed that women could operate a farm. The man came up with a competition: the farm would go to whichever son could fill the house with something he purchased for a penny. When both sons failed, Mary had an opportunity to prove that it took brains rather than brawn to win such a competition and to run a farm.

This adaptation of an old fable provides young readers with a lighthearted story about the value of money as well as the transfer of property rights. Mixed media images in a folk art style help to set a timeless mood in which one could easily imagine how spending a penny could influence a large inheritance.
loved it! my 7 year old son was interested and my 5 year old daughter asks to hear it again and again. we love books where people can outsmart problems! I love that it features a female main character who is smart :)
I love this book. It is beautifully and cleverly illustrated and tells a folktale I'd never heard of before. A story that teaches the value of light, wisdom, music and joy over that of material goods is always welcome in my home. Excellent and original!

That being said, I do wish they had not used the phrase "feminist fable" in describing the book. I am the mother of two girls and I suppose I fit the description of a "feminist." However, labels like this have no place in the world of children's literature. Don't let the description fool you--it's a valuable story and beautiful book for anyone, boy or girl!
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