Benny the Penny and the Big Secret

  • Published: May 2005
  • Format: Saddle Stitch Softcover(Color)
  • Pages: 24
  • Size: 8x10
  • ISBN: 9781412051323
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It's Lillie's birthday today but instead of being happy she's miserable. Luckily her uncle has a surprise he's been waiting ten years to show her and it's going to change everything. Lillie's uncle brings her into the living room, knocks on the front door of a dollhouse and out pops Benny the Penny, her uncle's best friend. But that's just the beginning because the biggest surprise is yet to come. It's in Benny's story about the most important quest of his life, his quest to discover what made him special. Benny tells Lillie about the time he got caught up in a train robbery, got dumped in the snow, kicked into a sewer drain and lost his best friend in a ballpark. He also tells her that with the help of Nicky the Nickel and an orphan named Jack, he finally discovered the truth about being special. He tells her what it takes to be special and how she can feel that way for the rest of her life. Benny tells Lillie THE BIG SECRET.


You may have seen it yourself: people actually throw pennies away. There is even a movement to get rid of pennies all together. I'm as guilty as anyone of disrespecting the lowly penny. Once, while digging into my pocket for "real money," I dropped a penny, watched it fall and just walked away. How rude, eh? If a penny were dropped on the street during the Great Depression you better believe whoever knowingly dropped it would scamper to get it back quickly before someone else made a beeline for it.

When I was a kid some of us thought it hip to stick a shiny new penny in our loafers. So what changed? I first asked myself this question one day while walking through Central Park when I eyed a shiny penny lying in the middle of a pedestrian walkway. I sat there for some time and watched as people walked right by it...and over it...and around it was a leaf or a twig. I won't say trash because I bet if it were trash, some litter-conscious person would have picked it up. But nobody picked that little penny up. So I asked myself one of those dangerous questions that lead to more and more questions: is a penny worth anything anymore? That led to, what makes any kind of money valuable? For that matter, what makes anything, people for example, valuable or not? Or special. What, exactly, do we mean when we say a person is special? Is it something we are born with or can we become special? Does it matter what we look like, where we live or how much money we have? And if we were special once do we remain special forever or can we lose our "specialness."

All these questions struck me and I vowed I would find the true meaning of being valuable and special. That is why I wrote Benny the Penny and the Big Secret. To tell people what I found in a way even little kids could understand. I think it's a very cool conclusion and scandalously true. Pick up a copy. You'll see what I mean.

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Saddle Stitch Softcover(Color)
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