From the youngest soul to the sage advisor, universal stories of love, kindness, acceptance and compassion transcend age. During this time of change, the team at Bad Penny Factory, in partnership with Veterans Families United, gifted free books to hundreds of homes across the United States. For now, free order requests are closed but we encourage you to check out the reads below and pick up a copy for yourself.

As we continue to listen and learn with our own families in an effort to grow as human beings, we hope one of these books touched your heart in the way they’ve moved ours. We’re excited to say that all books have reached their new homes or are currently en route to their new destination. We hope to open this program again in the future and if we do, we will put the word out.

In kindness,
From our families to yours in love and grace.

Veterans Families United Foundation

The Day You Begin

Written by Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by Rafael López

It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

Veterans Families United Foundation (VFU) has generously restocked our shelves and is the sponsor behind this round of free children’s books. In addition to our selected titles available for order, VFU members have chosen The Day You Begin for its sweet message of courage and connection. VFU is an all-volunteer organization that provides healing resources for Veterans and Their Loved Ones.

Strictly No Elephants

Written by Lisa Mantchev
Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the importance of inclusion.

Listening With My Heart

Written by Gabi Garcia
Illustrated by Ying Hui Tan

When Esperanza finds a heart-shaped rock, she sees it as a reminder to spread kindness and love in the world. But when the school play doesn’t go the way she’d imagined, will she remember to give it to herself? Listening with My Heart is a beautifully illustrated book that touches on the universal themes of kindness, empathy and self-compassion.

Your Name Is a Song

Written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Illustrated by Luisa Uribe

Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl’s mother teaches her about the musicality of her name and others on their lyrical walk home through the city. Your Name is a Song is a celebration to remind all of us about the beauty, history, and magic behind names.


Written by Lupita Nyong’o
Illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

Choose Your Story

Please complete this order form to get your free copy of your chosen book. These stories touch all ages so whether you’re ordering for your child or yourself, it’s of no matter to us. Free books are limited to one selection per person, per household and are on a first come, first served basis. We will continue shipping books to homes until supplies run out. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

Our request form is now closed. All our free books are spoken for and headed to their new homes!