October 12 – National Savings Day

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About the Holiday

National Savings Day was established by Capitol One to educate people on saving money and taking control of their finances in ways that empower them now and in the future. Simple steps such as opening a savings account, saving a portion of each paycheck, and setting short-term and long-term goals can help people feel more confident about their relationship with money. Teaching children the value of money through their allowance or while shopping can help them learn important lessons they will take with them into adulthood.

She’s on the Money (She Made History series)

Written by Andrea Hall | Illustrated by Li Zhang

 

If you’re looking for a fascinating and inclusive way to introduce profiles of influential women from different cultures and time periods in your classroom, homeschool, or family reading time, you’ll find lots to love in She’s on the Money. The lives, work, and impact of thirteen woman involved in politics, science, the arts, education, and activism from ancient Egypt to modern times are presented in short biographies that include interesting facts about how the women changed their country, community, or the world and why each was chosen to represent her country on its currency. The beliefs, customs, atmosphere, and conditions of the historical periods are revealed in appealing captions that are accompanied by illustrations that help readers visualize the concepts. Beautifully detailed images of each country’s currency also graces the pages.

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Image copyright Li Zhang, 2021, text copyright Andrea Hall, 2021. Courtesy of Albert Whitman & Company.

Cleopatra remains as intriguing today as she was centuries ago, so it’s fitting that she appears first in this book—just as she was the first woman to appear on currency. Why was her profile there? “Cleopatra appears on currency because she put herself on it. As ruler of Egypt, she had her own coins minted, or made.” In fact, “Unlike many women who came after them, Egyptian woman of Cleopatra’s time could buy property, divorce and remarry, and serve on juries. And like Cleopatra, they could be rulers.” Children will also learn how clever, fashionable, and “modern” Cleopatra really was. They’ll also discover facts about mummification.

Another leader represented is Queen Sālote Tupou III, the first queen of Tonga, who was the first Tongan chief to unite the 172 Pacific islands that make up the country. She appears on banknotes issued from 1967 – 1974. These intricately designed two-pa’anga bills feature Queen Tupou’s portrait on the front and an image of four women making tapa cloth on the back. Readers learn about and see an example of tapa cloth as well as information on the country’s produce and clothing.

Other politicians include Indira Gandhi, the first—and so far only—female prime minister of India, who appears on a specially minted five-rupee coin that was issued in 1985 to commemorate of her birthday on November 19; and Eva Perón, the former first lady of Argentina, whose profile appears on a colorful one-hundred-peso banknote, “unveiled on the sixtieth anniversary of her death, in July of 2012.”

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Image copyright Li Zhang, 2021, text copyright Andrea Hall, 2021. Courtesy of Albert Whitman & Company.

Kids will be inspired by entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian, who at a time when insects were believed to be “‘evil spirits’ because they came out of the ground, captured and studied insects in order to understand and draw them. She appears on the German “500-deutsche-mark banknote from October 27, 1992 to the end of 2001, when Germany began using he euro.”

Educators include Maria Montessori, who developed Montessori schools and is featured on Italy’s elaborate 1,000-lira note, and Helen Keller, who is featured on the Alabama state quarter first released on March 17, 2003 as part of the program begun in 1999 to honor each American state. Her quarter also includes her name in both English and braille.

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Image copyright Li Zhang, 2021, text copyright Andrea Hall, 2021. Courtesy of Albert Whitman & Company.

Readers also learn about the crucial role Sacagawea, a member of the Lemhi Shoshone tribe, played in the success of the Lewis and Clark’s expedition to explore and map the country from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Sacagawea appears on the dollar coin, which was issued in 2000. The coin is also distinctive for its gold color and smooth edge, which make it easier for visually impaired people to identify.

Seamstress and revolutionary Catherine Flon of Haiti, opera singer Jenny Lind from Sweden, and revolutionaries and sisters Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa Mirabal of the Dominican Republic as well as writers Ichiyō Higuchi from Japan and Kate Shepard from New Zealand are also profiled.

An Introduction reveals information on the beginnings of the monetary system’s coins and paper bills and the choices governments make on who will appear on them. Discussions of the changing images of Britannia and Lady Liberty follow the biographies as well as an Author’s Note and a Glossary of words found in the text.

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Image copyright Li Zhang, 2021, text copyright Andrea Hall, 2021. Courtesy of Albert Whitman & Company.

Andrea Hall’s engaging, conversational style gives readers a wealth of knowledge on their way to learning about the money we use every day. Her well-chosen details provide kids with plenty of sparks for further research about the women and their work, how money is minted and protected from counterfeiters, and pivotal periods in world history.

Li Zhang’s textured and realistic reproductions of world currency are visually stunning, showing kids that much of the world’s coins and paper bills qualify as art in addition to their purchasing value. Her images of stamps, cultural fashions, iconic products, and more are equally beautiful, while her snapshots of insects, jewelry, flags, coats of arms, and other symbols provide readers with tangible views that set the women in their time period and further inform children’s reading.

Absorbing for anyone interested in money, history, art, and biographies, She’s on the Money is highly recommended as an addition to home, school, and public library collections.

Ages 4 – 9

Albert Whitman & Company, 2021 | ISBN 978-0807573426

Discover more about Andrea Hall and her books on her website.

To learn more about Li Zhang, her books, and her art, visit her website.

National Savings Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-penny-matching-puzzle

Count Your Pennies! Matching Game

 

Counting pennies can be so much fun! Saving them can be even better! Collect enough pennies and you can buy something special or donate to your favorite cause! In this printable matching game, draw a line from the stack of pennies to the object they will buy.

Counting Your Pennies! Matching Game

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You can find She’s on the Money at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

To support your local independent bookstore, order from

Bookshop | IndieBound

Picture Book Review

April 1 – National One Cent Day

A Dollar, a Penny, How Much and How Many? by Brian Cleary and Brian Gable Picture Book Review

About the Holiday

Do you pick up a penny on the street or step over it as worthless? If you do the latter, you might want to reconsider. Today we celebrate the one-cent coin and its historical and artistic significance. The penny has been in circulation since 1793 and derives its name from the English “penny” but is pluralized in the US as “pennies” instead of the British “pence.”

It wasn’t until 1909 that Abraham Lincoln’s face appeared on the coin as part of President Roosevelt’s initiative to improve the artistic nature of the country’s coinage. Roosevelt enlisted famed sculptor August Saint-Gaudens to design the new penny, as well as the other gold pieces in use at the time. While the designs of other coins have changed over the years, Lincoln has remained the iconic image on the copper-colored penny.

While a single penny may not buy much these days, added together they can still make a difference. And remember the old adage: Find a penny pick it up. All the day you’ll have good luck!

A Dollar, a Penny, How Much and How Many?

Written by Brian P. Cleary | Illustrated by Brian Gable

 

Part of the Math is CATegorical series, this book is all about money—what it looks like, what it’s used for, and how the different denominations add up to equal the same price for a desired or needed item. Each two-page spread relates in verse a little lesson. The book opens with a general definition of money: “Money is the term for coins and bills that people use / to buy things such as pizzas, pencils, planes, and chains and shoes.”

Kids learn the names of our coins, what they are made of, and the value of each. They discover that coins can be added together or mixed and matched—10 pennies equal a dime; two dimes and a nickel equal a quarter, and so on. The story moves to a dollar store, where the cats buy different items with various combinations of coins. Jenny has 4 quarters, while her brother has 10 dimes. Anna has 100 pennies and Zack is carrying 7 dimes, 1 quarter, and 5 pennies. Kids see that all of these combinations have the same value.

Paper money is up next. A short description of the minting process leads to a discussion of value as the cats purchase a $20 book with various bills.

Brian Cleary’s catchy rhymes and straightforward explanations make this a perfect book for introducing money, its value, and the mathematical concepts of addition, subtraction, and multiplication of using money to buy things.

Brian Gable’s well-known comical cats of the series walk kids through the pages as they ponder prices on items on the shelf and the amount of money in their pocket. The cats’ humorous expressions and silly situations turn this money math lesson into a funny and fun experience. The brightly colored pages focus on the coins and bills, which are clearly displayed, and the direct connections between this money and the objects being bought is obvious.

Ages 5 – 9

Millbrook Press, 2012 | ISBN 978-0822578826

National One Cent Day Activity

CPB - Penny matching

Count Your Pennies! Matching Game

 

Counting pennies can be so much fun! Saving them can be even better! Collect enough pennies and you can buy something special or donate to your favorite cause! In this printable Count Your Pennies! matching game, draw a line from the stack of pennies to the object they will buy.