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EconKids Home New Picture Books in 2006 and Earlier Mr. Belinsky's Bagels / by Ellen Schwartz, illustrated by Stefan Czernecki

Mr. Belinsky's Bagels / by Ellen Schwartz, illustrated by Stefan Czernecki

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Title: Mr. Belinsky's Bagels 
Author: Ellen Schwartz
Illustrator: Stefan Czernecki
Publisher: Tradewind Books Limited
ISBN: 1-896580-28-9
Year: 1997

Concepts: good/services, markets and competition, opportunity cost

Review: Mr. Belinsky owns a small and cramped shop where he sells bagels exclusively, despite his son’s pleas to diversify. But when a bakery hawking all kinds of treats opens up directly across the street and customers pile up to the new place, Mr. Belinsky begins to worry that his son is right. He starts to experiment with making and selling pastries and other desserts, bringing in new customers but also letting down his formerly loyal customers. And, he begins to forget how to make his special bagels…

Mr. Belinsky’s Bagels introduces younger readers to economic concepts that affect buying and selling, such as competition and demand. Opportunity cost measured in lost time also plays as a role in that Mr. Belinsky’s new dessert sales means that he no longer has time to continue making his beloved bagels. Ultimately, Mr. Belinsky decides that he prefers making bagels to making money through new customers. In that respect, children also learn an important lesson – being true to oneself is more important than financial gain.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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