Praise from Kristin Barnet
Dear Mr. Mitchell,
I did indeed receive "A Bad Penny Always Comes Back" last week -- thanks so much for inscribing it! I was also very pleased to see that Stan Jones, the radio operator, had signed it as well. I'm glad he got to see the publication of your book before he died in 2009 -- I'm sure it made him feel good to know that the story of Operation Manna would continue to be told.
I really like the book very much, it tells a great story of a war plane and her crew unexpectedly recruited to fly a peaceful (but still dangerous) mission of humanitarian aid. It's a great way to teach children about WWII history, especially girls -- human interest stories draw in girls much better than stories of battle victories, I remember from my own grade school experience.
I especially liked your decision to anthropomorphize Bad Penny, and make her and Peter the two main protagonists of the story. I also greatly appreciated the historical context you provided throughout, and how you ended the story with the reunion of Peter and Bad Penny many years later in Windsor. The two-illustration coda about the Netherlands thanking Canada every year with a gift of tulips was very touching.
The illustrations are charming -- well-designed to tell the story, both individually and as a sequence. As a physical book, it's an attractive object, especially in the colors, and the quality of the paper and printing.
Flushing, New York