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I AM MONEY by Julia Cook


by Julia Cook & Garrett Gunderson ; illustrated by Josh Cleland

Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 2024
ISBN: 9781728271262
Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

A walking, talking billfold of cash takes readers through the ins and outs of money.

Held together by a shiny gold clip and often accompanied by anthropomorphic coins, our narrator is a smiley, positive presence who eats pizza and rides a bike, just like us! Money explains its value as well as how to earn it (mowing lawns, selling lemonade), spend it, save it, and share it. The narrator uses clothing as a metaphor to explain different forms of money—sometimes the narrator dons “digital and crypto clothes,” though the author doesn’t elaborate on these. A similar reference to “credit card coats” is accompanied by a warning on overspending. Most commendable are reminders of readers' self-worth: Though readers are encouraged to invest in themselves, it’s made abundantly clear that money does not confer value to people. A message about earning interest is followed by a wordless page of coins and bills passing by a bank and a credit union—concepts that are a bit too advanced to describe in detail for this book’s audience. For now, tracking savings in a clear jar (not a piggy bank) is advanced enough. A guinea pig appears throughout the cheerful, textured art, making a suitably cute sidekick for the narrator.

An educational and uplifting foundation in financial mindsets and rules of thumb.

(money tips) (Informational picture book. 4-8)