My girls love reading. Mom, can you read me a book? I read to my oldest while she either picks up her own book or listens to me read to her at the same time. My kids are so cute and cuddly, and I’ll miss it when they grow up.
As for my girls, they love going to the library, and we usually make one trip a week. Many times, the books they choose aren’t what I want them to read.
The New York Public Library has a list of 100 Great Books for Children over the last 100 years, and I’ve been taking out books from it. There are a lot of great kids’ books out there, but this list shows what NY public library librarians think are the best. alphabetical list: We’ve only reached the “C” books so far, but things are going well!
This made me wonder: Why don’t we start reading kids’ books about money?
And now for our favorite children’s books about money:
Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money, by Emily Jenkins & G. Brian Karas, ages 3-7:
How hard it is to sell lemonade during a winter storm. Pauline and her brother John-John found this out. Their story talks about how to keep track of money, how to advertise, and how to figure out if money was made or lost from the siblings’ business. They like this story because it’s so silly!
Those Shoes,by Maribeth Boelts, ages 5-8 years.
Everyone at school has bought a pair of “those shoes,” which are high-top black shoes with white stripes. Even though his shoes are worn out, his family can’t afford a new pair of shoes, let alone “those shoes.” “It’s better to give than to get.” This story has a heartwarming twist at the end that shows that this is true.
Rock, Brock and the Savings Shock, by Shelia Bair, ages 7-10:
Each week, Rock and Brock get a dollar from their grandfather. If that dollar and any savings are kept through the whole week, that amount is doubled. Rock and Brock are twins. One twin does well, the other doesn’t. When you save money, you get more money back over time. This is a good example of why it’s bad to spend on impulse.
A Chair For My Mother, Vera B. Williams, ages 4-8 years:
In the aftermath of a fire, a girl, her mother, and her grandmother put their spare change into an empty glass jar. They want to save up to buy a new chair. This book is a classic and is also on the New York Public Library’s list of 100 Great Books for Children that are worth reading.
How I Learned Geography, by Uri Shulevitz, ages 4-8 years:
Based on a true story, a young boy flees his home country as a refugee and moves to another country. They have a hard time getting food and other basic things for their family, but the boy is happy when his family gets a map.
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, by Simms Taback, ages 3-7:
Joseph makes his old overcoat last by making it into a lot of different clothes. teaches kids how to be resourceful.
The Penny Pot, by Stuart J. Murphy, ages 7 and up:
When kids get their faces painted at a school fair, they also have to see if they can pay 50 cents. This book combines both of these things into one. The book also has a sweet side story about kids giving their extra pennies to help a girl who doesn’t have enough money.
Follow the Money!, Loreen Leedy, ages 5 and up:
There is a lot of information in this book about a quarter, including how it’s made and how it can be passed from person to person, business to business, and even from person to person. The story can be a little hard to follow at times, but kids think it’s funny.
The Money We’ll Save, by Brock Cole, ages 4-8
It’s time for dinner, and the mother of a low-income family needs two eggs and a half pound of flour. So she sends her husband to the market. It helps that the family is saving for Christmas, so he avoids temptation. The husband bought a turkey poult for a cheap price from a seller, and the family will raise and eat it for Christmas dinner. The family thought they were getting a bargain when they bought the thing. A good example of how difficult life can be, with great examples.
Arthur’s Funny Money, by Lillian Hoban, ages 4-8
It turns out Arthur wants to buy some clothes. He doesn’t have enough money. It’s the perfect business idea for Violet, his little sister. Violet and her brother run into a few problems on their way to making $5, but Violet comes up with the perfect idea. This book shows what it costs to run a business, how to advertise, and how to make money.
A Smart Girl’s Guide: Money, by Nancy Holyoke, ages: 10 and up:
A Smart Girl’s Guide: Money is part of the American Girl series of books. It talks about how to make money, how to shop smart, how to save money, and how to think of ways to make money.
Making Cents, by Elizabeth Keeler Robinson, ages 5-8:
kids from the same neighborhood want to build a clubhouse and raise money for it through yard sales. This book shows what the kids can buy with the money they earn to build the clubhouse.
Amelia Bedelia Means Business, by Herman Parish, age 6-10:
A girl at Amelia’s school just bought the most beautiful bike in the world. Mom doesn’t want to pay for it, so Amelia has to work for it.
When Times Are Tough, by Yanitzia Canetti, ages 5-8 years:
This book is about a family who has a hard time making money. As a child, you might not be able to buy clothes or toys. Then it talks about the positives that come from these hardships, like turning old clothes into something new and using your imagination to make new toys.
Deena’s Lucky Penny, by Barbara de Rubertis, ages 7 and up:
This is how it works: Deena finds a penny in the grass and it “magically” grows into one dollar. She uses it to buy her mother a birthday gift for her birthday. In this book, kids learn about coins, but I didn’t like the idea that money comes “magically.”
The Go-Around Dollar, by Barbara Johnston Adams, ages 6-9:
Find a dollar bill on the ground: two boys One of them buys shoelaces from the other with a dollar. The story shows a part of the bill’s life from that point on. Dollar bill facts are included in the book, but younger kids won’t be interested in them at all.
The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis, chapter book, ages 9-12 years:
There aren’t many jobs for black men like Mr. Malone in Gary, Indiana, which is in the middle of the Great Depression. Afterwards, their father leaves Gary to look for work. The rest of the Malone family, including Deza, sets out to follow him. She is given the name Mighty Miss Malone for her bravery.
A Dollar for Penny, by Dr. Julie Glass, ages 4-6:
As someone learns to read, this is a good book for them to start with Lemonade stands are run by little girls. A penny at first, but then she raises the price a few times to teach people about different types of money: pennies, nickles and quarter coins. A dollar at last.
Money Madness, By David A. Adler,ages 5-9:
How does money work? What is money used for? Because we need it. To do what? also shows how money came to be and when it did. This book also talks about foreign currency, foreign exchange rates, credit cards, and digital money, among other things.
One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent, by Bonnie Worth, ages 4-8:
To teach kids different things, this is one of a number of Cat in the Hat books. It talks about how people lived before money existed (bartering), how physical money came to be, how different countries made money in the early days, how money is made, how people can save money, and how people can earn money.
The Lemonade War, by Jacqueline Davies, ages 7-10:
When it comes to people, Evan Treski is better than his younger sister, Jessie. Jessie is better at math, but not so good with people. So when the siblings start their lemonade stand war, there’s no way to tell who will win. In this book, you will learn how to make money through marketing, as well as how to use business terms, charts, diagrams, and math problems.
How to Steal a Dog, by Barbara O’Connor, chapter book, ages8-12:
Georgina Hayes is broke. Since her father left and they had to move out of their apartment, her family has been living in their car. Having her mom work two jobs and try to find a place to live makes Georgina look after her younger brother, Toby. But when Georgina sees a missing-dog poster with a reward of $500, the answer to all her problems suddenly looks like it’s right in front of her.
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, By Judith Viorst, ages 4-8:
A dollar comes from his grandparents each week. Even though he wants to save it, temptation makes him want to spend it, which makes him angry.