Learning about money not only reminds us of the importance of financial responsibility but it also teaches children basic math concepts. Kids are ripe for this learning! Here is a list of our top Children's Books To Teach Money Sense.
Children's Books Teach Money Sense
Here is a list of books that I have reviewed and highly recommend including extension activities!
This book is one of my all time favorites, definitely one to purchase and place on your shelves. The book is hands-on and can be applied to a range of ages. Use real coins to match with the pages and your kids will be hooked on it!
26 Letters and 99 Cents by Tana Hoban is a very simple book illustrating the letters of the alphabet and counting up to 99. I really like the way to book demonstrates both little € and big €, for example, and the images are for the most part realistic and colorful. Now for the good stuff, the numbers portion is very effective in the way the author introduces the concept of money by using coins to represent each number (i.e. one quarter = 25). I also like how she showed two different ways to get to a number (i.e. five pennies or one nickel = 5).
I am a big fan of Nancy Shaw’s books. They are a blast to read, Margot Apple’s illustrations are adorable and a lot of fun and kids simply cannot get enough. In Sheep in a Shop, five sheep go shopping for a birthday gift. They carry with them their piggy bank. When they arrive at the register, they find they do not have enough money. All and all a wonderful book for your child with many life lessons if you chose to incorporate those lessons into your reading time.
Annie is an Apple Farmer preparing for business. She walks us through growing and harvesting her apples. Then we join her at a farmer's market where she has prepared a variety of apple products to sell. My favorite part of the book? The recipe at the end! Annie does make her job look quite easy. Always good to remind the children of her hard work!
The story discusses the concept of responsibility in the context of wanting a pet and then proving responsibility by starting a business and caring for pets and their owners. Arthur wants a puppy. His parents explain that a puppy is a big responsibility. They agree to let Arthur have a puppy, but, before moving forward, they ask that he show them that he is responsible. Arthur takes this task very seriously and sets out to start his own pet business. He is thoughtful and very caring of his clients and their pets. His optimism does not come without peril as some of his client’s pets, like Perky, are a handful. The story is lovely and simple. The author, Marc Brown, takes the very BIG topic of “responsibility” and boils it down so that even the little ones can understand the lesson. He displays the difficulties of starting a business but in the end how the hard work rewards Arthur. Bravo!
This book is most well suited for children age 6 and up. Drawing on the inspiration of her Depression-era childhood, in “A Chair for my Mother” Vera Williams delivers a very raw, sweet story told from the perspective of a young girl named Rosa being raised by her single mother and grandmother. The story is centered on how Rosa is saving her money to buy a new chair for her family. What struck me most about the central character is her empathy towards her mother. She clearly understands that her mother works very hard, that losing everything they own in a fire is not an easy fix for the family and that they could not have moved on in life so quickly without the support of their community. These are all exceptional lessons to bestow onto children. The illustrations won awards but truthfully I found the underlying story more compelling than the illustrations.
A little girl named Anna Marie spends her Saturday helping her grandparents run their corner store. The book clearly portrays the very loving relationship between Anna Marie and her grandparents. The store is adorable with its fresh fruit and vegetables, signage, local bread delivery and the love it receives from the community. Dinner is prepared in the store, Anna Marie and a friend draw on the sidewalk outside the store and share after dinner treats from the store. Each time I open this book, I feel “warm and fuzzy” and wish I could visit this store in my neighborhood. The book, although simply about a local store run by elderly merchants, is a wonderful reminder of the positive role grandparents can play in a child’s life, what a little hard work can bring a family and community, and the greater love and power of a community. Those are the big, powerful messages to your older children. For younger children, the illustrations are a great way to learn vocabulary and to help your children identify various foods.
Jenny Found a Penny by Trudy Harris is a recent discovery. So, I will include a review in this post (the other reviews are linked above). I adore this book. So does my almost 3-year-old. The illustrations draw in children. There is a lot of action and they tell a good story. Penny is trying to save one dollar to go to the Dollar Store to buy something special. She earns coins through a variety of ways including sweeping, babysitting, doing laundry and even a gift from a relative. In the end, she collects the dollar and heads to the store where she learns a valuable REAL LIFE lesson in the form of a sales tax. I enjoyed this book because of its foundational message of “earning your pennies” but also appreciated the real-life “tax” lesson. Overall, a great introduction for 4-7-year-old children. This book paves the way for future lessons of early financial responsibility. I highly recommend Ms. Harris' book.
Don't forget to check out my Learning about Money Activities pack! If you want to download the pack for FREE, check out my eBook, Growing Up Centsible, all about teaching kids financial sense!