Title: The Stolen Smell
Author: Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss
Illustrator: Tom Wrenn
Publisher: August House
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 3.9
Concepts: externality, producers
Review: A greedy and miserly baker insists that his neighbor, who can barely afford to buy stale bread but savors the wonderful aromas from the bakery, pay for the “stolen” smells. Although the neighbor is baffled and the townspeople are amused by this demand, the baker takes the matter to court. A clever judge applies the baker’s logic to resolving the case and rewards the baker with the sounds of the neighbor’s coins clinking together. The Stolen Smell does a nice job in adapting an old folktale to a new setting, and in doing so serves as a useful source for teaching a quick lesson in economics that sometimes production can yield an external benefit for which consumers do not need to pay.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children