Penelope Jones always manages, unwittingly, to complicate everyday life through unbridled enthusiasm and vitality. She’s a magnet for disaster, as her family puts it, always finding herself in extraordinary situations that earn her the nickname of Penny Dreadful. Her brilliant ideas inevitably end in calamity, as these three stories show. In the first, what is intended as a lesson in responsibility and animal care quickly turns into mayhem when she brings home the class pet rat to look after for the weekend. Then, her triumph at finding a rare object in the form of dinosaur bones to present at the show and tell class session quickly unravels – as does her attempt to cheer up her gran, hospitalised after falling into a burglar trap, by smuggling Barry the cat onto the ward.
The stories are very funny, in language and in predicament. Told from her point of view, Penny’s experiences show her to be warm, intelligent, feisty and entirely original in her response to the world. Humorous illustrations, varying font sizes and capitalization of key words and phrases add extra cheeriness to these highly entertaining and exuberant stories.