Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sweet Penny and the Lion: Children's Book Review

Written and Illustrated by Richard Fairgray
Written by Alexander Burke
ISBN: 978-1-5107-3484-5
Price: $16.99 | 32 pages | Ages 3–6

This is a cute story about a little girl named Sweet Penny. She is a young girl that is always following and obeying all the rules. No matter what the orders are, or where she hears them, she follows them to the letter. Soon, however, Sweet Penny learns that you can’t always do what you are told because sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and think outside the box or, in the case of this particular story, outside the Lion. 

Throughout the book Sweet Penny follows the rules at home with her family and at school with the teachers. While she is doing everything that she is told, she often finds herself somehow looked over, forgotten because she is good and quiet. Worse yet, she is often the victim of the other kids, who are portrayed as mostly bullies toward her. 

One day the Science teacher took the kids outside to play a game and while telling the kids what to do and where to go, he forgot about Sweet Penny. After the teacher realized he had forgotten about her he just simply tells Penny to stand still and be quiet. 



Unfortunately, while the other kids are playing while being confused and the teacher is reading his newspaper not paying attention to the children at all, a Lion jumps over the fence and into the schoolyard with all of the other children. Of course, the other kids run scared tying to defend themselves, all the while Sweet Penny is standing still and quiet, just as she was expected and instructed to do. 

Instead of protecting herself she just stood there even when the Lion told her he was going to eat her. She explained it to the lion, “I can’t break a rule and I was told to stand and be quiet.” Of course, because she is doing what she was told the Lion swallowed her whole, while Penny didn’t try to protect herself. 


However, something snapped in Sweet Penny she started to kick and punch the Lion from within and next thing you know she is out of that Lion’s belly. She realized that she can stand up for herself and not always follow the rules. Sometimes you have to, not necessarily break, but redefine the rules in order to protect yourself or others. Sometimes you have to think for yourself, which is often scary and risky, but can lead to positive changes in your life. 

This book offers simple yet intriguing illustrations coupled with a simple storyline that young ones can enjoy. Although simple, the story is thought-provoking and, as many newer children’s books often do, makes kids ask questions to put all of the pieces of the moral together. I personally love the meaning behind the story. I feel that this story is telling you to use your brain, think things through, ask questions, and make your own decisions when the situation calls for it. If you blindly follow all of the rules, you may find yourself forgotten, taken advantage of, and in a state of trouble that only you can lift yourself out of.  


Richard Fairgray is a writer, artist and colorist, best known for his work in comic books such as Blastosaurus and Ghost Ghost, and picture books such as Gorillas in Our Midst, My Grandpa Is a Dinosaur, and If I Had an Elephant. As a child he firmly believed he would grow up and eat all the candy he wanted and stay up as late as he liked. By drawing pictures when he wasn’t meant to and reading all the things people told him not to, he has made this come true.

Alexander Burke is an award-winning composer and musician residing in Los Angeles. Alex has composed music for films and soundtracks such as Iron Man 3, The Gift, A Little Something For Your Birthday, as well as TV shows like Mortified Nation, Funny Or Die, and too many others to list here. He is a guest artist for numerous albums and live specials for artists including Michael Bublé, David Lynch, Fiona Apple, Edward James Olmos, Dave Grohl, and Margaret Cho. Alex’s band, Magnolia Memoir, have currently released four albums. Please update this bio yourself with a black ballpoint pen as this number grows.

Where to purchase: You can purchase from Barnes&Noble and Amazon for $16.99

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post with a product to review, from either a PR agency or a company. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use or would use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Your opinions may vary from my opinions. Links in the post above my contain affiliate links. You can also go here and read my PR and Disclosure Polices.

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