Title: Friend Penn
Author: Rebecca Newswanger
Major Themes: Colonial America, Pennsylvania, William Penn
Synopsis: The life of William Penn is told briefly in this beautifully-illustrated hardcover book.
In our slow trip through American history this year, we have reached William Penn. I was happy to have an excuse to read one of my recent purchases to the children, Friend Penn. This is a beautiful little hardcover picture book from one of my favorite publishers, TGS International.
Christians were being persecuted in Europe, and William Penn was part of God’s plan to help them. Though he was born into a wealthy family in England, he became a Quaker and lived a simple life. His father didn’t like that, but William stuck to his convictions even when it meant prison. Because of his father’s influence, William was given land in America, which he used to provide freedom for people who were being mistreated for their beliefs.
This is a very brief introduction to William Penn. The text is short and concise, and the pictures tell a lot of the story. They are drawn fairly heavily with ink or pencil, and then colored, giving kind of an old-fashioned feeling. I really like them, and the binding is delightfully heavy-duty. This book is a beautiful addition to any child’s library, and a great introduction to a famous man in early American history. I like the way the author brought out the way God used him.
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12