Pretty Penny Comes Up Short: Chilldren’s Book

Pretty Penny Comes Up Short Offers Tall Life Lessons   


Pretty Penny Comes Up Short is a wonderful book for children.  This book makes a parent feel good about reading to their children, complete with a moral discussion opportunity.  I would recommend this book to teachers to add to classroom collections.  

In this story, the stylish main character, Penny, is playing outside with her friend and sidekick, Iggy.  Did I mention Iggy is a pig and that these characters live in a city?  It’s this kind of quirky detail that makes this story fun and imaginative!  Penny meets a neighborhood boy and notices he is passing out flyers advertising a local animal farm that needs help  raising funds to feed and care for the animals. Any child who has ever asked a parent to set up a lemonade stand immediately knows where this story is going.  

Penny’s wants to help and raids her savings from a “sharing jar.”  Disappointed in the amount she has to give, Penny begins planning to host a drive-in movie as a way to raise funds for the animals.  With the help of friends and family, the event is a success!  

Throughout the book, you are so focused on Penny and her efforts that you fail to realize Iggy has been eating the popcorn prepared for the show and dropping money while operating the ticket stand.  In one flustered moment, he stuffs money into his hat and forgets to add it back into the register.  When he realizes his mistake, instead of returning the money, he daydreams about how he could use the money for himself.  He justifies keeping the money as reward for all the hard work he put in. He goes on a shopping spree and gets caught stealing.  His friends forgive him but he has to take responsibility for his actions by working hard to earn back the money for the farm.  

The characters of Penny and Iggy portray the character traits of responsibility versus immaturity, right versus wrong, and selflessness versus selfishness.  I appreciate an author who presents parents with a teaching opportunity in just a bright and fun way!  This book teaches kindness, acts of giving, empathy, fundraising, and righting a wrong.  How often can you pick up a book off the shelves than reminds you that as a parent or teacher, it’s your job to teach children these character traits?  

This book is part of the Step into Reading series and is categorized as Step 3, appropriate for Grades 1-3. If you are unfamiliar with this series and would like to learn more, visit the website at  If you think your child would enjoy the characters of Penny and Iggy, visit for additional stories, videos and printable activities.

Pretty Penny Comes Up Short

By Devon Kinch

Random House NY, 2012

Price: $3.99

Easy to Read  5
Quality of Illustrations  5
Appealed to Both Boys and Girls  3
 I Would Purchase This For My Family  yes
 I would Purchase This As A Gift  yes
 I Found Information in The Book Helpful  5
 Overall Rating  5

 All ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being

the highest.

Meet The Reviewer!


Leah Eiden is a former Interior Designer turned stay-at-home mom.  She enjoys volunteering in the classrooms of her two children, ages 10 and 6.  In her free time, she enjoys contributing to her blog and teaches art and science classes to children at local recreational centers. 


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