Tuesday 21 September 2021

Two Pennies

Two Pennies by Vicki Bennett, illustrated by John Flitcroft (Boolarong Press) PB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9781925046816

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

On his return from the French battlefields of World War I, George’s father is sad because many French villages were bombed, and there are no schools for the children. George’s headmaster announces that they will raise money to help construct a school in one of the villages, Villers-Bretonneux. Each child is asked to donate two pennies. George works hard in the family bakery to earn money and is proud to bring his pair of pennies to school. When he grows up, George visits the school in France that his pennies helped to build.

Taking inspiration from real-life events involving her father, Vicki Bennett has brought to life an important part of Australian history for primary-aged readers. Her story shines a light on the power of perseverance, revealing that anything is possible when you strive for what you believe in. Another significant theme that will resonate with young readers is the idea that even the smallest person can make a difference.

Two Pennies is John Flitcroft’s debut as an illustrator, and his images have comic-book appeal. Bright colour beams from each full-page illustration, ensuring that kids come away from the book thinking of history as anything but dull. In particular, green and red are used to visually link the images throughout the book, from the green carpet and red scooter wheels in George’s childhood bedroom, through to the green grass and red poppies at Villers-Bretonneux.

A poignant blend of memoir and message, Two Pennies is a must-read for all Australian children. Love and hope grow with every page turn, transforming the devastation of the past into dreams for the future.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.