Ginnie & Pinney by Penny Harris
Illustrated by Winnie Zhou
Published by Big Sky Publishing
Date: 13 July 2020
Ginnie & Pinney Learn & Grow is a delightful series of books and videos encouraging children to have empathy, emotional intelligence, and to think ethically. I am really excited to be part of the Books on Tour team again as we celebrate the launch of this new series of educational and fun books.
3,2,1, Here I Come (A story about fairness), and Pinney the Winner (A story about selflessness) are the first two books in a series of 8. There is a lot to love about this series, and it isn’t just about the books. One treasure is a QR code link on the back of the book that takes you to videos of the books. The Ginnie & Pinney website also has a lot to offer, including discussion questions for each of the books to explore with children and some great character cutouts and colouring pages. Also, on the website, many of the blog posts are aimed at children. The posts are filled with wonderful activities attached to them, such as spot the difference and giraffe (Ginnie) making.
Penny Harris and Winnie Zhou really know how to engage with their readers and offer them more than just the books. If children can gain experience of a book beyond the pages, it is a gift that shapes their literacy and artistic exposure and adventures.
Now let’s get to the books. The first two books 3,2,1, Here I Come and Pinney the Winner, both have a page introducing Ginnie the giraffe and Pinney the hippopotamus and all their friends. I love this as it means that you don’t have to own every book to know who the characters are. Both these books explore themes of friendship, empathy, inclusiveness, selflessness, sharing and being fair.
3,2,1, Here I Come is about a game of hide and seek. Ginnie is a giraffe, so finds it hard to hide. Ginnie’s friends suggest other games to make it fairer for Ginnie, but she doesn’t give up and finds a great hiding spot. I found Ginnie to be quite the funny giraffe, especially when finding her hiding spot. I like that each of the characters is very caring and consider each other’s feelings.
In Pinney the Winner, the theme is selflessness. It’s sports day, and Pinney potomus isn’t as agile as his friends. He has all sorts of mishaps but was still sure he would win a chocolate medal. The last race was the pogo stick race and Pinney was doing so well. Then Ginnie falls and Pinney stops to help her. The act of kindness doesn’t go unnoticed by Pinney’s friends, and they award him a chocolate medal for being a good friend.
Winnie has done a lovely job of the illustrations, but if I am to be honest, I would have loved some brighter tones throughout. I like the use of speech bubbles throughout and from a stortelling perspective that is always fun. Winnie has capture emotion on the animals faces very well, you definitely get a sense happiness, frustration, uncertainty and joy on their faces. For children that cannot read I think it’s important that if they are flicking through that they get an understanding of what the characters are feeling.
These books share great lessons for children in a fun way, and I think they are well suited for kinder and prep aged children as they are learning a lot of these lessons at this age. They teach children how to use words of encouragement, how helping others can be rewarding, how not giving up can sometimes create the best ideas and creativity.
Ginnie & Pinney will become a beloved series for children across the globe. They are engaging, fun, honest and educational.
Did you know that for every set of books purchased for the remainder of 2020, $5 will go directly to WIRES and Animals Australia. Get on board!
Follow the tour and see what others think about Ginnie & Pinney, including interviews from the author.
Thank you Big Sky Publishing and Books on Tour for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.