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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2015 Here is a cheerful, moving lesson on positive attitude and generosity. It stars Theodore, a lanky, mop-topped kindergartener who descends the stairs in his home one stormy school-day morning. Theodore finds a penny on one stair, with “Abraham Lincoln, face up.” Theodore pockets the lucky penny, and the day instantly improves. The sun comes out, the school bus is on time, and the bus driver announces that zoo penguins are going to visit the school. Readers follow Theodore through the school day, with all its lucky happenings. Theodore is chosen to show the day and date on the calendar; he gets called on to read his poem in class; he’s the line leader coming in from recess. The illustrations, done in colored pencil, perfectly complement the original gloomy interior and the bright features of the school room and playground. In an unexpected twist, Theodore leaves his lucky penny under the bus driver’s seat, knowing and showing that there is enough luck to share. Kadir Nelson’s If You Plant A Seed (2015) would make a nice companion book. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 PreS-Gr 1—A gray day fills with sunshine after a young boy finds a lucky penny. When apple-cheeked Theodore sees the shiny face of Abraham Lincoln on the stairs, he can't believe his good luck. Tucking the penny into his pocket, he sets off for school with a new bounce in his step. Suddenly the clouds have rolled away, and the day is filled with a host of small joys: hitting the tetherball over and over without missing, being chosen as line leader, checking out a new book from the school library, and even answering a math problem correctly in class. Young audiences will easily relate to Theodore's happiness over these little victories, though the message that Theodore is essentially making his own luck, or rather finding it in the world around him, is subtle and may take some adult guidance to tease out of the narrative. Generous white space and Godbout's soft-edged colored pencil illustrations complement the gentle tone of Borden's text. For children new to school or those who struggle with anxiety, Theodore's lucky day may provide a quiet reminder of the good moments school has to offer. Other audiences may wish for something a little more out of the ordinary to happen. VERDICT A good option for one-on-one sharing, but overall, a supplemental purchase for libraries that simply can't meet the demand for back-to-school picture books.—Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Hennepin County Library, MN - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.