Title: Sivu's Six Wishes: A Taoist Tale
Author and Illustrator: Jude Daly
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Concepts: tradeoffs, opportunity cost, wealth, jobs
Review: As a talented stonemason, Sivu carved marvelous pieces out of stone that garnered much praise, but he earned very little money. He could not help but notice the extravagant lifestyle of one of his customers, a wealthy businessman, and Sivu -- out of frustration and envy -- wished he could become the businessman. Incredibly his wish was granted, but it did not take long before Sivu wanted more power, so he wished to become the mayor. And so his desires and wishes continued, six times in all, until he became a rock. What could be more powerful than an enormous rock?
This simple tale presents an interesting opportunity to talk economics with children, especially the notion that people cannot have everything they want and there are tradeoffs associated with choices. The subtle acrylic illustrations add an African dimension to this modern interpretation of an old Taoist folk story.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children