Apr 22, 2011
Mary's Penny by Tanya Landman
Illustrated by Richard Holland
A long, long time ago, there was a farmer. He had two son, Hans and Franz, and a daughter, Mary. Hans was beefy and Franz was brawny. Mary was neither, but she was smart. But since this story takes place a long time ago, the father completely ignores Mary because she's a girl and there's no place for girls in a farm. The father is trying to figure out who to leave the farm to when he dies, Hans or Franz. So he gives each one of the boys a penny and challenges them to buy something with it that would fill the whole house.
When her brothers fail at their mission -one tries to fill the house with wheat and the other with feathers- Mary approaches her father for her chance to complete the challenge. Reluctantly, the father hands her his last penny.
In Mary's Penny, our heroine proves that it doesn't take brawn to run a farm, but brains. Her way of filling the farm with what she buys with her penny is wonderful. She fills it with light and knowledge. This is a beautiful book to show the power of brains over muscle and to defeat stereotypes. The illustrations are captivating. I loved the mix of textures, drawings and photos. Great book to share with boys and girls alike.