Mary's Penny by Tanya Landman


Mary's Penny by Tanya Landman

Sometimes the smallest and most unexpected things have the greatest value, as shown in this stylish feminist fable. This is a story of one farmer, his three children, Franz, Hans and Mary, and an ingenious competition that will determine who should inherit the farm. Which of the farmer's children will be able to fill the house with something that costs a mere penny? Will straw do the trick? Will feathers be sufficient? Or will it take something a little more creative? This is a timeless story promoting the value of knowledge and music.


This wise beautifully paced and illustrated fairytale is feminism at its best. (The Times)

About the Author

Tanya Landman

As a child
Tanya Landman used to spend a lot of time up trees (with a skipping rope tied around her waist), hoping to turn into a monkey. She spent the rest of the time rescuing snails, righting beetles and burying the birds that the cat brought home.

As an adult
Tanya studied for a degree in English Literature at Liverpool University before working in a bookshop, an arts centre and a zoo. Since 1992 Tanya has been part of Storybox Theatre working as a writer, administrator and performer - a job which has taken her to festivals all over the world. She lives with her husband, Rod Burnett, and two sons, Isaac and Jack, in Devon.

As an artist
Tanya had no ambition to write until Waking Merlin popped into her head a few years ago; but now she can't seem to stop writing! She says it's the best job ever - being allowed to spend hours staring into space, daydreaming...

Things you didn't know about Tanya Landman
1. Tanya once had a pet pig called Tilly.

2. She now has a ferocious Siamese cat called Edgar.

3. She can make a horse's top lip go all floppy.

4. She loves swimming in the sea, but is a total wuss about cold water and has to wear a wetsuit even in August.

5. In years and years of school PE lessons, she never ever managed to hit the rounders ball.

6. Or the tennis ball.

7. She knows how to scratch a pig until it gets faint with happiness.

8. She is scared of heights.

9. She can milk a goat.

10. She is kind to spiders, even though she is scared of them.

Q & A with Tanya Landman about her book Geronimo

What gave you the idea for this book?

A few years ago I wrote a book called Apache. When it was published I went all over the UK giving talks. I soon found out that no one knew much about the history of America. Some people didn’t even know how thousands of white European immigrants had crossed the Atlantic to America to settle there. Or that anyone else lived there first. Many thought an Apache was a helicopter or a computer program. They didn’t know anything about the native American people. That’s why I decided to write about Geronimo.

Was Geronimo the only great Indian warrior?
There were so many, I’d need another book to list them all. Each Indian tribe had its own extraordinary heroes – the Sioux had Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse who defeated General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. The Apaches had Cochise, Juh and Victorio whose sister Lozen was a woman warrior.

If you could meet Geronimo, what would you ask him?
Geronimo became very famous. In 1905, when Theodore Roosevelt was elected as US President he asked Geronimo to ride in his parade. I’d ask Geronimo how he really felt about that.

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Book Info


40 pages
Interest Age: 5 years +


Tanya Landman
More books by Tanya Landman

Author's Website


Publication date

2nd June 2011



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