After Penny Peccary adopts a seven-legged "beast", she learns that even a little critter can make a big difference. Joining Penny on her personal journey, we meet those she holds most dear and discover their lives in many ways mirror our own. Young and old will delight in this coming of age fable of South Texas.
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About the Author
Bob is a native Californian who now calls San Antonio home. Formerly a practicing lawyer, he spends his time studying Texas history, conserving south Texas ranchlands, and supporting programs that benefit disadvantaged children. He and his wife, Grace, a fifth generation Texan, recently celebrated their 27th anniversary.
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PENNY HAS A GREAT DAY! A South Texas Fable based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Wise Bear Books Reviews Penny Has a Great Day by Robert Swartz Penny Has a Great Day is a South Texas fable which utilizes animals—in this case peccaries—to teach children important life lessons about friendship, tolerance, respect, obedience and cooperation. Penny is the daughter of Diego and Gertie Peccary. Her older brother, Javier, is the reckless risk taker of the family. Penny's friend, Harry, is a seven-legged tarantula who largely serves as entertainment for the peccaries in an otherwise boring daily routine. Harry regales Penny and others with tales of his adventures when he leaves them for periods of time. It doesn't matter if his stories are true or not. Penny and others are grateful for a break in their normal tedium. The book centers around the daily task of finding enough food each day to satisfy the family's needs. Most days are spent grazing "green thorn"—a type of cactus which is plentiful in the region. The family's dietary routine is occasionally enhanced by trips to Rancho Laguna Seca where corn known colloquially as "yellow food" is left for livestock. This is the peccaries’ version of going to their favorite restaurant once a week. When the ranchers get wise to the unwelcome infiltration of their feed, they rectify the situation by making it impossible for the peccaries, as well as any other uninvited wildlife, to partake in the "yellow food" feast. Penny may get top billing in this book, but the entire family is central to the main storyline. This tale could be about any young couple with the demands of raising a family under challenging circumstances, but using the device of peccaries and other animals indigenous to the rural South Texas area accomplishes several goals. First, the book brings attention to a mostly overlooked area of American culture. Second, the story showcases some terrific illustrations. And finally, it's a great way to market and sell products based on these small-town animal creatures. Author Swartz is a smart man. Relying solely on book royalties and digital commission is a tough row to hoe, but building your audience through character-driven products based on the story is a clever move and can create the all-important word-of-mouth and cross-promotion for the book itself. This is not a run-of-the-mill children's book as it's a little too old for 5- and 6-year-olds and a bit young for pre-teen 11- and 12-years-olds. As previously mentioned, the book contains some great illustrations, but it’s hardly a picture book. We believe its best audience rests with elementary age students between 1st and 4th grades. The experience of Penny Has a Great Day can also be enhanced with out-loud reading from teachers and/or parents with their student/child directly to explain regional terminology and details which could be confusing out of context. Penny Has a Great Day is a fantastic way to interact and bond with young minds. Penny’s story may be simple, but it’s a good reminder that children can contribute in important and meaningful ways. It also serves as an important cautionary tale for over-confident and/or rebellious youngsters, which in this respect makes for a fine fable. This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest, unbiased book reviews.