for Pennies in a Jar by Dori Chaconas and Ted Lewin
A story set in the 1940s begins with a young boy and his mother seeing his father off to war. Worried about what will happen with his father gone, the boy feels fearful of small things and big things. Scared of the air raid sirens and spooked by the big horses pulling wagons down his street, the boy struggles to quiet his fears. Meanwhile he collects pennies, hoping to buy something worthy to send to his dad for his birthday. Rich watercolor illustrations portray the boy’s reactions to the large horses that help deliver the milk, and collect newspapers, scrap metal, and garbage. The boy balks at the chance to have his picture taken on a pony, but then accepts the opportunity as a way to overcome his fear and to make his father proud. An author’s note provides a brief explanation of what life was like for kids on the United States home front during World War II in a heartening picture book with luminous watercolor paintings. (Ages 7–11)
CCBC Choices 2008. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008. Used with permission.
When his father goes off to fight in World War II, a young boy promises to be brave. But it isn't always easy, especially now that he and his mother are alone and the air is punctuated by air raid siren tests. He spends much of his time on the porch of his house, viewing the hustle and bustle of the street and wishing he could be brave like his father. Lots of things scare the boy, but especially the street horses: Josephine, who pulls the ragman's wagon and Nell, the milkman's nag, frighten the boy with their big teeth and wild eyes. Even Billy and Bucky, the garbage wagon horses whose feet are as big and heavy as buckets full of iron, make him nervous. Then one day a stranger with a small pony named Freedom offers the boy an opportunity to create the perfect birthday present for his father. But that means digging down deep inside to find a new and special kind of courage?
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.