Shanti Saves Her Money. Lisa Bullard, Christine Schneider, ill. 2013. 24 pages. Millbrook Press. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.]
It can be hard to articulate concepts around money to children. However, Shanti Saves Her Money is a cute, easy-to-understand exploration of saving & spending. It explores family spending, taking into account research on cost. I also appreciate how it factors in simple math, such as having to figure out the total cost for amusement park tickets for the entire family.
The concept of saving is made simple, with Shanti’s jars. This is a realistic way to show kids how to spend, versus how to put things away long-term, like in a bank. The visit to the bank was a novel idea – how many kids really understand what the bank is and how they can use it? (As a parent, I also loved the subtle college savings hint). The author also did a solid job of introducing the concept of immediate versus long-term gratification with regard to goal setting and short-term spending. Framing the spending and saving around things kids would want really helps drive home the point that money is something you have to be careful with.
I immediately loved the illustrations. They are crisp, bright, and balance simple with detail. They pair well with the story without being a distraction. The story itself was incredibly easy to follow. It’s good for a read-aloud story from parent to child, but also a good practice story for young readers to practice on their own. While there are chapters in this book, the shorter text doesn’t make the book feel excessively long. The extra features at the end for making a savings jar and a glossary were added bonuses!