Picture Book Review: When You Give an Imp a Penny

It’s been a while since I’ve featured a picture book and today I have one for you! Today I have a review of When You Give an Imp a Penny by Henry, Josh and Harrison Herz, with art by Abigail Larson. Last year I reviewed these guys’ Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes and just loved it. I mean, what’s not to love about nursery rhymes involving creatures like manticores, centaurs and more? When You Give an Imp a Penny features the Imp from Monster Goose and his ‘adventures’ so, you know, it’s pretty cool, too.

Read on to know more about the book and check out my review.

Imp PennyAbout the book

A well-intentioned Imp (the same one from MONSTER GOOSE), asks for a penny, and inadvertently creates all kinds of havoc, making messes and cleaning up after himself. The creative execution in a medieval setting with a mythological mischief-maker is a fresh version of the circular tale popularized by Laura Numeroff’s WHEN YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE.

Cuteness and mischief

When you give an imp a penny, you can expect, er, interesting things to happen. This is a really cute book about a cute imp that causes all sorts of messes. And it all started with the imp asking for a penny and somehow it causes a series of little accidents and things. The imp tries to clean up and fix things, of course, and makes more messes. And when things finally seem to be in order, it all goes back to that first penny and who knows what kind of mischief the imp may get into after that.

The story is pretty simple and light, not as dark as the rhymes in Monster Goose, but still fun. The illustrations are gorgeous. Like Monster Goose, the pictures have that ‘classic’ fantasy quality and I love it. I think kids would, too. I can imagine it as a fun book to read with little kids who get into similar troubles in the house. ;)

Note: I received a review copy of this book from the author. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

About the authors

Henry Herz received a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering and operations research from Cornell University, master of science in operations research from George Washington University, and master of arts in political science from Georgetown University, none of which help him write children’s books. His love for fantasy began when he read Where the Wild Things Are (repeatedly) as a child (and as an adult) and was sealed by The Lord of the Rings and Dungeons & Dragons. He enjoys painting Warhammer miniatures, moderating science fiction/fantasy literature panels at conventions, eating Boston cream pie, and writing children’s books with his sons, Josh and Harrison. Their first book was featured in Young Entrepreneur, Wired GeekDad, CNN, and the Warner Brothers’ website for the Hobbit movie. The Herz writing trio lives in San Diego, California.

About the illustrator

Abigail Larson’s whimsical illustrations have been shown throughout the United States, from New York to Los Angeles, as well as internationally in Paris and London. Larson creates digital art for children’s books and commissioned projects. Some of her interests include Halloween, witchcraft, children’s literature, skeletons, and monsters.

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