Friday, February 22, 2013

Joe the Monkey Learns to Share: A Story of Giving, by John Lanza (illustrated by John Lanza and Patrick Rooney)

Joe the Monkey Learns to Share:
A Story of Giving
(A Money Mammals Share-Save-Spend Smart Book)
Author: John Lanza
Illustrators: John Lanza and Patrick Rooney
Editor: Marilyn Walton
Publisher: Snizzlezoo Books
Publication Date: December 3, 2012
There are a number of books on the market that talk about the "three jars" concept of money saving--encouraging children to divide their money into jars for saving, for spending and for giving--but I like this one in particular because it is aimed at children directly in the form of a storybook, and because it's not religious-based. I'm not  saying there's anything wrong with religious books about saving, it's just that they're not for everyone. This one, part of the Money Mammals series, is more universal. 

Based on the story and illustrations I would say that Joe the Monkey Learns to Share is aimed at elementary school aged children, but my three-year-old daughter Magda loved it as well. She sat and listened to the whole thing then asked to hear it again, this time asking questions and offering commentary. When Joe the Monkey eventually picks a charity at the end of the book--buying vines for underprivileged monkeys--Magda decided that she too would like a share jar and that she would use it to buy backpacks for kids who didn't have them. I'd been thinking of ways to introduce her to the concept of charity and this book did just that. Come back-to-school time, Magda and I can use her share money to donate school supplies to families in need. I'd say the book was a success!

Keep reading for images from inside the book, Magda's take and more...

If you'd like to learn more about resources for teaching financial literacy to children, you can visit the Money Mammals website ( or check out America Saves Week, February 25-March 2 (

Also, look for an upcoming post on this blog for more books about financial literacy for the whole family!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publicist for review purposes. I was asked to write an honest review, but I was in no way obligated to write a favourable one. I was not otherwise compensated for my review (well, they said thank-you, but I mean I wasn't paid or anything). The opinions expressed are strictly my own (except in that I was influenced by my three-year-old daughter, who LOVED this book).

Magda's Take:
"I thought it was a really good book because Joe the Monkey learned to share at the end and that's good."

You May Also Like:

The 5 Money Personalities, by Scott and Bethany Palmer

Leah's Voice, by Lori DeMonia

Goodnight, Monkey Boy, by Jarrett J. Krosoczha

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