Title: Pennies for Elephants
Author and Illustrator: Lita Judge
Publisher: Disney - Hyperion Books
Concepts: saving, raising money, services, altruism
Review: In 1914, the Boston Post announced that a local couple had decided to retire from animal training and put three of their famous elephants - Mollie, Tony, and Waddy - up for sale. Knowing that Boston’s public zoo could not afford the purchase price of $6000 and realizing how much the city’s children loved the elephants, the Orfords gave the children two months to collect the money. Kids like Dorothy and Henry did everything in their power to raise the money, one penny, nickel, and dime at a time. Small chores, piggy bank raids, cupcake sales, and magic shows; they stopped at nothing. Excitement mounted as competing offers to buy the pachyderms started rolling in from other parts of the world. Would Dorothy and Henry and all their peers reach the goal in time?
With images of newspaper clippings that add to the realism, award winning Lita Judge has produced another outstanding piece of historical fiction for children. Pennies for Elephants provides children with a powerful lesson in economics that collective efforts in raising small amounts of money can lead to elephant-sized results.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children