Several years ago I was curious to see if urban children living in the world of today would find these stories of interest. To test this point Lauren and I read Here's a Penny aloud everyday. Our students got it. Even though their world is far removed from the outside trapping described in the book they could relate to the characters as they struggled with independence while at the same time wanting to stay close to mom. We eventually read them the sequel to this called Penny and Peter which STILL makes me cry.
Penny picked up the kitten. It was so thin he could feel all of its tiny bones. The kitten curled up contentedly in Penny's arms. When they reached home, Penny ran into the house to show the kitten to his mother. "I've got a kitten," he cried.
Many years ago when the adults of today were still children and those children were full of wonder, there lived a special little girl named Beverly. She wasn't special because she could jump the highest or throw the farthest or blow huge bubbles with her bubble gum, she was special simply because she thought herself to be.
Beverly's parents thought their daughter was special too and liked to surround her with things that were beautiful in their eyes. Red geraniums in terra cotta pots to line her windowsill, white cotton curtains that blew across Beverly's back, massaging her as she slept, and a soft feather pillow to place her small head in the evenings.
Beverly was living in her age of innocence and although she was too young to fully understand the words, inside she felt secure, happy and loved.
Sadly, Beverly's mother passed away and never got to read these new words or know that we were planning to make her dream of publishing a reality (please note: planning). I still hope that one day a mom or dad will pick up Beverly and Her Ducks and read it to their child before they tuck them in at night. And somewhere out there perhaps Beverly's mother is smiling.But Beverly had a secret.Each summer morning before her parents awoke she sprang out of bed to anxiously peer out of the open window towards the pasture before her. The fresh farm air caressed her cheeks like a mother's gentle hand. She searched across the grass, past the splintered wooden fence to the quiet lake beyond. There she could see her friends silently frolicking in the clear water.