Benny and Penny in LOST and FOUND! is the fifth book in this wonderful series of leveled reader graphic novels from Geoffrey Hayes and the amazing people at TOON Books. Hayes's soft, colored pencil illustrations and his big-eyed bickering siblings charmed me from the start. There is something richly old-fashioned and even, if I may say, Beatrix-Potter-esque about the flora and fauna Hayes brings to life. And, while Hayes's illustrations are enough to keep me coming back again and again, the accurate and gentle portrayals of pre-schooler aged characters and their quickly changing, powerful emotions is precise enough to make this series one that should be in every child's home for decades to come.
In Benny and Penny in LOST and FOUND!, the day is off to an early - and bad - start for Benny, who is fuming over the loss of his favorite thing - his pirate hat. Mommy has sent him outside until his good mood returns and, when Penny finds him there, she offers to help Benny find his hat. The two traipse around the garden in the slightly spooky fog, their moods rising and falling as they are distracted by jump ropes, annoyed by cheerfulness, scared by a lizard and reduced to tears. Finally, though, Benny decides to be the master of his own fate, assuring Penny that he will lead them home to Mommy because, "If I'm in a good mood, then I'll be a good leader."
What I especially love is Hayes's knowledge of mothers, on display in Benny and Penny in LOST and FOUND! at the ending of the book as Benny and Penny triumphantly - and happily - return home to see his hat waiting for him on the stoop. Mommy found the lost hat in the closet. . .
The Benny and Penny books:
Source: Review Copy