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“Pretty Penny” Teaches Dollars and Sense

51qwiscTlML._SL160_The recently released picture book Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop (Random House Books for Young Readers, 40pgs) helps teach young children the basics of money management with a straight forward, and entertaining, approach. The book’s author and illustrator, Devon Kinch, struggled to put her financial house in order before beginning graduate work in graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. The experience of rehabilitating her finances and eliminating debt inspired the idea for the Pretty Penny series, which became the subject of her graduate thesis. Six-year-old Penny is a little girl with very big ideas. “My childhood heroines were Punky Brewster, Pippi Longstocking and Annie. All three were smart, edgy, and fearlessly independent young girls,” writes Kinch in an article for The Children’s Book Review. “I wanted Penny to embody the spirit of my childhood idols, but be very much a modern girl of today…She is a true mini-entrepreneur: passionate and resourceful.”

In Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop, Penny visits her grandma Bunny and wants to throw her a birthday party. The little girl gets permission to sell items from her grandma’s attic and then funds the party with her earnings. Kinch plans for Penny to have adventures relating to different aspects of money management in each book of the series. “[S]he will tackle various financial topics like earning, saving, investing, working with coupons, and understanding advertising. The more emotional aspects of money like stealing, fighting about money, overspending, and need vs. wants will also be explored.  Penny will investigate these topics with humor, style, and that can-do spirit that Pippi, Punky and Annie were famous for.”

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