Three mismatched teacups from the cupboard are not exactly what a 5-year-old boy hopes to receive for a birthday gift, but with some parental guidance, they help set them on a path to sound financial well-being.
An accompanying envelope holds the very first installment of his allowance and the promise of future “adventures.” “Saving, Spending, and Giving.… Doing all three things as you keep growing up … that’s the adventure.” And he is off to a good start. A trip to the bank to open a savings account teaches the boy about interest, several weeks of scrimping allow him to finally buy a baseball glove and a school food drive for needy families puts his giving cup to good use. While the boy and his family are idealized, and “experiences” or “opportunities” might better replace “adventures” for literal-minded young readers, the three-cup system is an excellent way to instill lifelong money habits in children, and this book does a good job presenting it. Willy’s soft-focus illustrations are full of warmth, clearly showing the emotions that accompany each of the child’s monetary decisions. Backmatter includes a parent’s guide to beginning the three cup system. Missing, though, are any guidelines on how to divvy up the money among the cups percentage-wise. And while readers learn that the boy used his savings for college, there are no discussions about other ways his money could be used.
A good introduction that should be paired with some other books to round out and develop kids’ understanding of money and allowances. (Picture book. 5-10)