A girl and a coin that share a dream each find it realized.
Emma trains hard to realize her dream of “becoming a great diver. When she LEAPT from the board, anything felt possible!” However, the training does not always go smoothly (illustrated with an inadvertent back flop that will have many readers’ shoulder blades burning in sympathy). Dejected, she picks up a penny that catches her eye—and that evening the penny watches diving on TV, and “a dream blossomed in its tiny heart.” Unaware of the penny’s sentience, Emma tries to give it away and to spend it, but no one wants a penny. As it watches Emma train it realizes that, without limbs, diving is “a silly dream for a penny to have.” However, the morning of the competition, Emma tosses it into a fountain for good luck—and goes on to earn perfect 10s. Carratello illustrates her wry little tale with stylized cartoons dominated by matte turquoise, lavender, and pink. Images of the penny’s fantasy life are amusing, in particular a vertical succession of vignettes in which it executes a perfect pike. If it all seems just a little twee, it is nevertheless executed with apparently perfect sincerity. The story takes place in Italy; Emma, her family, and most of her diving teammates are white (actually pink), but numerous characters of color in the background attest to the country’s multiculturalism.
Odd but sweet. (Picture book. 4-7)