Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Joe the Monkey Saves for a Goal: A Loop-Dee-Loo Story (A Share-Save-Spend Smart Book), by John Lanza (illustrations by John Lanza and Patrick Rooney)

Joe the Monkey Saves for a Goal:
A Loop-Dee-Loo Story
(A Share-Save-Spend Smart Book)
Author: John Lanza
Illustrators: John Lanza and Patrick Rooney
Publisher: Snigglezoo
Publication Date: April 1, 2010

Joe the Monkey Saves for a Goal is the first book in the "Share-Save-Spend Smart" series. I previously reviewed the book Joe the Monkey Learns to Share and I was very impressed. The series is great for helping kids see that money management is something they can do at any age. 

It's not always easy to talk to your kids about money. You want them to develop good financial habits, but where do you start? I was talking about this with my cousin Lisa just the other day (Well, she's the wife of my partner's second cousin once removed, so...I guess I was talking about this with my friend Lisa). We have kids the same age (3 1/2) and she was saying her son was asking her where quarters come from and how he could get more quarters for his collection. I told her how we had been talking to our own child, Magda, about money using a "three jars" concept that we learned about from the book Joe the Monkey Learns to Share

The idea is that children divide up their money (whether it's allowance, birthday money, etc.) into "spend," "save" and "share" jars (we also added a fourth jar called "invest" for money that goes directly into the bank). Some of their money can be used for immediate goals, like buying little treats (the "spend" jar) but if they want to buy something big they'll need to save up (the "save" jar). This book is specifically about the save jar.

Joe the Monkey wants to buy a new vine (he's a monkey...that's like an Xbox to him) but it costs too much money. He doesn't have twenty dollars! His allowance is only four! But he REALLY wants it, which means he'll have to save up for a few weeks and not spend his money on little things if he wants to buy the big thing he has his eye on. It's not easy, and he's very tempted to say forget it and just buy candy. But in the end he realizes it's worth it to save his money for something he really wants.

I love this series. It's fun, it's accessible, it's kid-friendly. Oh, and it's secular too. That may not be important to everybody, but I've come across quite a few Christian-based books about the three jars system. Those are great if they fit your religious values, but if not, it's great to have non-religious options. Besides, the John Lanza books could easily be read by Christian and non-Christian families alike. 

To find out more about the Money Mammals series, you can visit their website:

To find out more about National Financial Literacy Month, visit their website:

Also, keep checking this blog for more about this series, including Magda's take and a chance to WIN A COPY OF JOE THE MONKEY SAVES FOR A GOAL!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and was not otherwise compensated for my review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own (or, where indicated, those of my daughter, Magda, who helps me review children's books).

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Joe the Monkey Learns to Share

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