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One out of every five U.S. residents functions at a "below basic" level of literacy, struggling with tasks such as rea... More

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Author: John Luksetich

Illustrator: Patti Kern

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Publisher: Imagine Nation Press,

Material: hard cover

Summary: In the Money Kingdom, the Half-Dollars make the rules. When they decide the penny makes no cents, Peasant Penny and her friends add things up to show the rulers they're wrong. This is a picture book with math and life lessons.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read, interactive reading

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Age of Child: Started reading with 4-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: S/He really liked this book. Our preschooler asked for multiple readings at the first sitting, daily reads for about a week, and still, four months later, she'll pull it off the shelf and ask us to share it again.

Adult Reader Reaction: It sounds so simple, but it is engaging and fun. It's been an easy, abstract way to introduce math and move beyond just mere counting. As our listener/reader becomes more sophisticated in her learning (and can tell the story by rote), we can add more sophisticated elements like saving money, self-esteem, individual worth, etc.

Pros: This can be a simple counting/math book, but it's also a nice allegory for treating others with respect and understanding one's own value, too. There is lots of potential here.

Cons: None, really. Only older kids/parents will understand the medieval setting.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! The book has value for toddlers and primary-school children alike.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE 1,2,3 BEES   FROGGY HOLLOW   REGULAR LU

Educational Themes: This is a counting book that can also be used to teach math. The story lends itself to Q&As about how people treat each other, and more abstract discussions about self worth.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, math, interactive learning, counting

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2006

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