9780544230149Reader Engagement Project:


Penny & Jelly: The School Show by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Thyra Heder (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) introduces the soon-to-be star of her school talent show: Penny.

Despite her desire to knock everyone’s socks off, Penny’s having a tough time deciding on what talent she might have. With a little help from her dog, Jelly, Penny tries out various talents—from dancing to unicycling, fashion designing to snake charming—with disastrous results. That is, until she realizes that she and
Jelly have a talent to share that’s unlike any other.

Penny and Jelly are sure to warm the hearts of both future talent-show contestants and readers who have similarly close canine friends.” —Kirkus Reviews

While not every elementary school runs a talent show, every grade school student wonders and sometimes frets about his or her talents.

Can a read aloud and activity help readers brainstorm their talents for upcoming auditions or to simply boost their confidence?

This kit will give you the materials to:
•   Have students brainstorm their talents and how to showcase them.
•   Provide your talent show organizer with a book-themed poster to announce the school talent show.
•   Provide talent show organizer with a book-themed program cover to highlight your talented readers.

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Engagement / Programming Tool:

Penny & Jelly Talent Show Kit

Best Users:

Educators Grades 01-06, School Librarians, PTO Talent Show Coordinators

Best Audience:

Children Grades 01-06

More on the Book:

Penny & Jelly: The School Show 
By Maria Gianferrari
Illustrated by Thyra Heder
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-13: 9780544230149
Age Range: 4 – 9 Years



  1. Love this SOOO much!! Thanks, Kirsten!! 🙂 <3

  2. Sounds like a fun book! My students had a classroom talent show a few years ago (their request) and it was optional to participate. Tons of fun to watch!

    • SO fun. That Penny tries EVERYTHING…

      Wish I could have seen your showing off their best.

  3. Just got my copy today. I can’t wait until I get to use it next year and I know I’ll be hosting a talent show!

    • THAT makes me happier than you know! I DO love a talent show…


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