Story by Tony Townsley
Written by Mark St. Germain
Illustrated by April Willy
The Three Cups is a nice book to introduce children to basic money management. The concept of breaking money into three groups- give, save, spend is explained nicely. This hardcover book is well made and nicely illustrated with warm colors.
In this story, a boy receives a gift on his fifth birthday. He opens it to find three old cups from the cupboard, with the words, give, save, spend, written on the sides. He is promised that this gift will take him on many adventures. Then he is given his first allowance that will increase in amount as he gets older. His parents help him split the money into the three cups. We are shown examples of him saving to the point of bringing his cup to the bank to open a savings account. He saves enough in his spending cup for a new baseball glove. And he uses the money in his giving cup to by food for a food drive. Then we get a one page synopsis of how he used the cups while growing up, and even took them to college, and then gifted them to his son when he turned five.
I have one issue with this book- The Cups. Using cups, in fact old cups from the cupboard, including one with a crack, is not very practical at all. In reality, I cannot see putting money into cups in a children's room, the money would not be contained very well, and a cup would only hold so much, I think a jar with a lid would have been a much more practical idea. The thought of the money spilling out was distracting me through the whole book, if you were to really put this into practice I think children would find it distracting as well.
As a concept, the book is nice and would work to introduce basic money management to a young child. I would use it in conjunction with another money container though. Perhaps decorating some nice mason jars with lids would be a fun project to go along with this book.
Surely an important concept to teach children, and certainly an important reminder for adults as well.
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