Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Money Matters

For those of you who do not know me personally, you may not know that I have been in the education field for twenty years. I have mainly worked with four and five-year-olds. I was a kindergarten teacher for six years and then I was blessed when the position of librarian became available in an early childhood school. So now, I am the librarian for four-year-olds, their parents, and their teachers. It is my dream job.

While working the past fourteen years in this position I have heard all kinds of funny statements come out of the children's mouths. However, one of the statements I have heard over the years has really bothered me. A four-year-old came to the circulation desk with their chosen library book in hand, put the book down on the desk, lifted his name tag to me, and said, "Charge it please." It was very funny at the time and the teacher and I had a great laugh. The issue is I have heard this more than once from the students who come into my library. It seems that more and more children are growing up without a sense of money and how to save.

Now, I am not really one to talk, I guess. I have done my share of charging, but I have also learned my lesson. I think Mr. Greenleaf's book Give, Save, Spend with the Three Little Pigs is a wonderful life lesson for everyone.

Give Save Spend with the Three Little Pigs
by Clint Greenleaf
illustrated by Phil Wilson

We all know the story of the three little pigs. The beginning of the book reminds us how the Big Bad Wolf came to the house of each of the pigs, destroying two of them, but being unsuccessful with the last house - the one of bricks. Since the wolf could no longer terrorize the pigs, he moved on to other animals in the forest. Seeing how the pigs were safe in the brick house the forest animals visited the pigs asking if they could build a house for each of their families. Thus the Pigs and Bricks business begins.

Once the houses are complete the pigs sit down to count their money and begin to dream about how they will spend the profit. The first pig wants to have fun and spend the money on frivolous things, the second pig wants to be philanthropist, while the third pig said they should put their money into the bank in case they needed it for an emergency repair. The pigs decided all three ideas were good and divided the money into three areas: give, save, and spend. The money was then divided equally among the three areas and "from that day forward, every time the Three Little Pigs earned money, they split it among their three banks."

I think this is one of the most creative ways to help children understand the concept of money. Most people put their money into only one category - spend. Then when they no longer have money they charge everything. It is not a healthy way for children to grow up. I plan to share this book with my students in order to help them understand it is okay to spend, but it is also very important to give to others, as well as to save for a rainy day.

This book will be published in March 2014.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Greenleaf Book Group Press has provided a complimentary electronic copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.