Title: The City Kid & the Suburb Kid
Author: Deb Pilutti
Illustrator: Linda Bleck
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
Concepts: trade-offs, opportunity cost, cost-benefit analysis
Review: Children will enjoy exploring life in a city and a suburb while reading this flip book. Readers might begin with the story that chronicles Jack’s trip to visit his cousin Adam in the suburbs or flip the book over and start by reading about Adam’s journey to visit Jack in the city. Regardless of where the reader begins, he/she will see similarities and differences in the lives of the two boys. Within each setting the boys enjoy a variety of activities, including: exploring the neighborhoods, sleeping under the stars, and eating a special family meal. A careful examination of the illustrations, however, reveals that each activity looks very different in the city and the suburb.
Initially, each boy eagerly anticipates the opportunities he will enjoy while visiting his cousin. Jack looks forward to getting away from mowing the lawn and waiting for his mom to drive him places. By comparison, Adam is excited to escape the noise of the city and the hot subway station. After the initial excitement, both boys begin to recognize that there are special things about home that they miss. Jack misses the tall buildings, his bedroom with a great view of the city, and the glow of the city lights at night. Adam longs for his dad’s cheeseburgers, his favorite movie theater, and the big oak tree. Ultimately, Jack and Adam are each very excited to return to his home.
This book can be used to explore a variety of economic concepts. Students might evaluate the costs and benefits associated with living in a city and a suburb, as well as the opportunity costs involved with a move to a new setting.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children