Author and Illustrator: Jon Agee
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 2.2
Concepts: wants and needs, buyers and sellers, profit
Review: One of the most popular clichés in economics is “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” with the implication that you cannot get something for nothing. Jon Agee’s clever book turns this notion upside down when the richest lady in town walks into Otis’s empty antiques shop at closing time and buys nothing for something. Amazed that this wealthy woman who has everything would pay $300 for nothing, the neighboring merchants quickly change their signs and their sales pitches – I have the finest in nothing! I sell nothing from China! – and the odd purchase sets off a buying craze. Nothing is ingenious in the way it parodies herd behavior in consumer shopping patterns at a level that young children will understand and enjoy.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children