Author: Dori Chaconas
Illustrator: Ted Lewin
Genre: Picture Book
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Publication Year: 2007
When a boy's father goes off to fight in World War II, he's confronted with many fears. But with his father's birthday coming soon, the boy saves money to buy him a gift that his mother will send oversees— a picture of himself overcoming one of his greatest fears: being around horses.
Readers will enjoy the honesty of the central character (whose name we're never given) of Dori Chaconas and Ted Lewin's Pennies in a Jar. The key statement of the story, If something is important enough, you just have to do it, will encourage children who struggle with fear, and all readers will enjoy how the boy identifies with his father through an act of courage. Lewin's marvelous illustrations are reminiscent of Norman Rockwell's work, and Chaconas provides an excellent author's note about life for American families from 1939 to 1945.
This is a humble, winsome book that will stick with readers for both its story and its artwork, and for history buffs and those fond of horses, I'm sure it will become an instant favorite!
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