I was recently provided with the brand new M is for Money series of children’s books and asked to do a short review of these books.
Let me begin by saying the series is written by Teresa Cascioli, who is a very successful businesswoman- having taken Lakeport Brewing from the brink of bankruptcy and turned it into a $201 million business. Obviously with a business like that, she knows a thing or two about money, so I was interested to see her take on teaching kids about money.
I was told the books were aimed at children 5-9 years of age, so I read them with my son, age 9. I would say I would find 9 to be a little on the old side- the pictures and text were a little young for a 9 year old, however, it did still have a good message that my son was able to grasp.
The series has 3 books, and follows the adventures of twins Tessa and Benji as they learn about Canadian currency, budgeting, visiting a bank, saving, taking out a loan and more. The twins run a lemonade stand in the second book, which was a good example for my son, having just had one several weeks ago.
Although the text is quite simple (for a 9 year old), I found this advantageous as my son didn’t spend time on “big” words or grammatical issues – instead he could grasp the meaning behind the book – and that is learning about money. We had a good discussion as we finished reading each book and it was the first time I had ever heard my son mention the word “save”. He is a spender – he gets a loonie, he spends a loonie- even though we’ve explained to him, he just hasn’t gotten it before. Maybe it was the book, or maybe it was the timing and his age – I think it was a combination of it all – but it made him ask me some good questions about how my husband and I pay for things; how we can afford to go on vacations, undergo a renovation, etc.
When I asked my son for his comments on the book, he said he liked the message but he found the pictures a little boring. I think Teresa does a good job of repeating the message so that a child can understand the points being made – as we know, we often have to repeat things before a child can hear you.
With November being Financial Literacy Month in Canada, I would encourage you to download the series at www.misformoney.ca or buy it at Chapters/Indigo across Canada. It may just spark some good discussion in your house – if nothing else, it’s some more cuddle time while you read to/with your child!