Title: Lots and Lots of Coins
Author: Margarette S. Reid
Illustrator: True Kelley
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Concepts: money, banks
Review: The young narrator of Lots and Lots of Coins collects coins with his dad. His dad teaches him about all facets of coin-collecting, even looking back into history at some other items that were used as currency before coins, such as shells and tea leaves. The young narrator passes on this information to the reader, along with other interesting factoids such as the name of the buffalo on the back of some nickels (for inquiring minds, it’s “Black Diamond”).
Along the way, the narrator also talks about the values of coins and how many of each kind of coin is needed to make a dollar. He points out one fact that always amazes young children - “sometimes a big coin is worth less than a small coin!” He also gets the big picture when he says, “When I look at my coins, it’s fun to pretend I’m rich, but I’ve found out that it takes a whole lot of change to buy a soccer ball or a hamster at the pet store. You have to save up for the things you really want.” In this engaging manner, many economic concepts are touched upon beyond the obvious lessons on currency and money that the book produces. This book will undoubtedly be a useful resource for parents or educators wanting to explain the basic concept of money to young children, but it will also be interesting to older children (and even adults) for the trivia information it includes.
True Kelley’s colorful illustrations provide accurate visuals for all the different kinds of coins available, including the variations in their depictions. For instance, a full-page spread reproduces all the “tail” sides of the new state quarters. Her illustrations help to make the subject matter come alive and allow children to recognize the specific items mentioned in the book when seen in real life.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children