Reading books to your children is fun, and one of the great joys of parenthood is watching them learn to read by themselves.
Lessons about personal finance and how money works can be included in books you read to children, or in books they read with you or on their own.
Here are some good books about money that are aimed at kids, listed by title, grade level and price. Many can also be checked out for free at the library.
One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent: All About Money: K-2, $6. This book is by Bonnie Worth and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz, and has the look and feel of a Dr. Seuss book. However, it’s not by the original Dr. Seuss himself. It gives a big picture context to money lessons at this age, all in the fun style of Dr. Seuss.
Money Madness: K-3, $8. By author David Adler and illustrated by Edward Miller, this book asks what life would be like without money. It traces the history of the monetary system, starting with hunting and gathering to paper currency. Sections of the book on inflation and fluctuations in exchange rates can be skipped by some children and perhaps tackled at a later age.
Follow the Money: K-3, $8. By Loreen Leedy, this is one of many “follow the coin/dollar” children’s books that shows what happens to money. This book is from the point of view of a quarter. It goes from the Federal Reserve to a bank, grocery store, child’s piggy bank and elsewhere in a busy day of transactions. Along with teaching how money is used and reused, it has a few money-related problems, such as adding coins.
The Coin Counting Book: Grades 1-4, $7. By Rozanne Lanczak Williams, this basic book helps with one of the main math lessons young children learn in school. Large photos of coins, illustrations and rhymes teach children how to add up coins in a fun way.
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday: K-4, $6. Written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz, this book shows how having some money burning a hole in your pocket, even if it’s only $1, can leave you broke if you don’t learn discipline to save.
These are just a start. For recommendations for your child’s reading level, ask his or her teacher or a librarian for help.