Cover of book shows a penny with arms, legs, and a head, raising its hat.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!

Bookmark and colorful shoelacesAnd if you’re interested in saving a few pennies, pre-order my book. You can get a discount from my local independent bookstore, and I’ll also send  you a pre-order bonus of a pair of colorful shoelaces and a bookmark. (And if you buy from someone besides BookPeople of Moscow, snap a photo of your receipt and send me an email with the photo and your address and I’ll mail the pre-order bonus off to you, too.


One Proud Penny by Randy Siegel, illustrated by Serge Bloch. (Neal Porter Books: 2017).






Picture of children surrounding a globe

Alyson Beecher hosts the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge at Visit there for more great nonfiction picture books!