A kid-friendly introduction to the basics of financial literacy.

WHEN THE RHYTHM OF THE DRUM BEAT CHANGES

A CHILD'S FIRST BOOK ABOUT MONEY

This illustrated book for children aged 6 to 10 explains what money is for, why it’s important, and how to handle it.

At the City Market in Savannah, Georgia, two African-American girls, Jai and Kara, are dancing along to the beat of nearby African drummers when the rhythm suddenly changes. Jai’s father quotes an African proverb that gives this book its title: “When the rhythm of the drum beat changes, the dance steps must adapt.” When Jai’s dad gives her $10 to tip the drummers, a conversation arises about money and how kids adapt to their new responsibilities. He takes Jai to meet Jamila Harris, his financial adviser—someone who “helps you decide what to do with the rest of your money” after you “pay for your basic living expenses.” Jamila says that money is used to pay for goods and services, and can be in cash or “stored in computers like credit cards.” When Jai gets some money, Jamila suggests, she should save half and use the rest for fun or to help others. She could also consider starting a business, such as a lemonade stand, to earn more money, the adviser says; Jai’s father says that he’ll help her set up a savings account. In time, Jai will learn about debt, investment, and taxes. The book closes with motivational quotations. Co-author Milton D. Jones (Don’t Be a Happy Meal for the Banks, 2017) is a debt-relief attorney, which gives him an informed perspective. With debut co-author Amber P. Jones, his daughter, he stresses that parental involvement is important. They recommend reading the book aloud, and Jai’s father effectively models some examples of assistance; for example, he makes saving more appealing by giving Jai a beautifully decorated jar as her first piggy bank. Overall, the information provided here will give young kids a good start. However, it may be a little simplistic for older children. The cartoonish, full-color digital illustrations have rather flat, geometric backgrounds and reuse some images, but they do capture some of the City Market’s bustle.

A kid-friendly introduction to the basics of financial literacy.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: FB2B Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2019

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I LOVE YOU THROUGH AND THROUGH

Based on the 2005 board book, this Scholastic "Touch and Tilt" app retains the print version's sweetness and soothing tone. Told in simple, declarative rhymes ("I love your fingers / and toes / your ears / and nose"), the story is illustrated by images of a young boy and his adored teddy bear in various situations and emotional states. Adding to the mix, the iPad version features brief animations and sound on each page—one for the boy and one for the teddy bear when each are tapped. There are also animations activated by tilting the iPad clockwise and counter-clockwise, typically making the duo sway to and fro. The tilting animations sometimes get in the way of the touch animations, creating a delayed-reaction effect that may cause some frustration for its target toddler audience. Not every animated illustration works, stylistically; it's doubtful any fans of the book were clamoring to see the gentle bear do a headspin, for instance. But the app features calm narration, tinkling background music and illustrations so soft and fluffy they could be confused for high-thread-count bedding. Even the two-touch/two-tilt animations per page are reassuringly consistent. It's practically a sleeping aid in story app form. That's no knock; it's just fine for parents of restless readers at bedtime. (iPad storybook app. 18 mo.-5)

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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