Penny & Jelly Series By Maria Gianferrari

Photo and Review by Arielle ~ Originally on Instagram @ariellehg

I received these books from Kid Lit Exchange to read in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Penny & Jelly: The School Show By Maria Gianferrari
(July 7th 2015 ~ HMH Books for Young Readers)

All of Penny’s friends are participating in the talent show and Penny wants to participate too.  She creates a list of potential talents and begins to practice. Playing the tuba, yodeling, and baton twirling among other things are not talents Penny has. She expands her list and continues to learn she that she cannot design fashion, or ballroom, or be a magician.  Penny doesn’t give up. With the help of her best friend, her dog Jelly, Penny learns that they can “sing” a duet. Together, they enter the talent show and win the “Best Friends” award.

This story makes for a great read aloud to discuss how we all are unique and we each have our own talents.  I would read this book and then allow students to explore their own talents. We could then have a mini-talent show in my classroom/library. This is an adorable book!

And another review!

IMG_5602Photo and Review by Juli ~Originally on Instagram @whatmykidsread

Penny & Jelly: The School Show By Maria Gianferrari

In “The School Show,” Penny wants to be in the School Talent Show, but first she must figure out what her talent is. In Penny’s trademark list-making style (this is a fun element in both books), she goes through every possible talent, from tuba-playing to yodeling, and from doggy fashion designing to ballroom dancing.  All the while, her furry friend, Jelly, is by her side.
Eventually, Penny realizes that she doesn’t have to be good at the same things as everyone else; that sometimes the very best thing you can be talented at is being a friend.

We really liked the friendship between Penny and Jelly, and how Jelly is such a good sport for all of Penny’s experiments (Jelly dressed up in Penny’s designer outfit? Hilarious). We also thought it was awesome that when Penny saw a problem, she tried to work it out, and didn’t give up. This could definitely be such a useful book when talking about Perseverance.

These are characters that we’d really like to see more of!

 And here’s another book in the

Penny & Jelly Series!


Photo and Review by Arielle ~ Originally on Instagram @ariellehg

Penny and Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars by Maria Gianferrari 

(June 14th 2016 ~ HMH Books for Young Readers)

This books deserves all the stars! Penny is this adorable little girl who loves her dog Jelly. (I’m a sucker for a kid and her dog.) After being invited to a sleepover where pets are not allowed, Penny attempts to make her pet out of different materials found around the house. (I’m also a sucker for a kid maker.) When nothing seems right, Penny doesn’t give up, but she finds a solution. LOVE the story of this book and message it portrays. It would be a great read aloud about making, persistence, and problem-solving. @pennyandjelly this book is fantastic!

And another review!


Photo and Review by Juli ~Originally on Instagram @whatmykidsread

Penny and Jelly: Slumber Under the Stars by Maria Gianferrari 

In this book, Penny is super excited about the “Sleepover Under the Stars”, and gets to work making a list of everything she’ll need to bring with her (Penny’s lists make me smile, and I love this unique feature that the books have in common).

But wait…Penny looks at the invitation again and realizes that pets aren’t allowed, which means her best friend, Jelly, won’t be able to come with her. Well, if the real Jelly can’t come, maybe Penny can try to make a pretend Jelly that can go with her instead, maybe out of yarn or paper or even jelly (a jelly Jelly 😂).

Of course, nothing can really be a substitute for Jelly; but, what if Penny finds a way to sleep under the stars, AND still get to be with her dog, Jelly? Oh, I just think its so great to see Penny’s “never give up” way of looking at a problem.

With funny and inventive stories from Maria Gianferrari, and imaginative illustrations from Thyra Heder (my daughter stopped me from turning the page multiple times so she could finish checking out the details), these books really are great. It didn’t take us long to get attached to these charming characters.

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