Sunday, January 8, 2012

Three Cups - Give Save Spend Review

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.

Here is my Amazon affiliate link for more info on this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. That's interesting! My granddaughter is about the age to start to learn about money. Maybe I should get this book for her.

  2. We used peanut butter jars with a hole cut in the lid, and wrote on the outside with permanent marker. We have never had to replace the jars, and I very much like having a lid. When they were younger, the lid was taped on, but now it is not as they know not to just dip into it any old time.

  3. Thanks for the review. I love the idea- my parents taught no money management or credit- so this would have really helped :) I can't wait to introduce this to my little ones in a year or so.

  4. Hi April, what a wonderful concept and I think your idea of changing the cups for jars is perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  5. Thanks for all of your positive feedback on my book review. Love the idea of the peanut butter jars, they would work wonderfully. Such a good idea to teach children how to wisely manage money from a young age.

  6. This book sounds really nice and will be a good helping hand for parents and children as well. But you are right about the cups, maybe this is just because they are easier to draw and show. What a lovely idea to use 3 glass jars instead, maybe with a crochet or fabric cover or maybe the children want to make their own designs. Endless possibilities.
    Have a lovely, good and healthy 2012 and thank you so much for your nice comment on my blog, I appreciated it so much.
    With my best wishes,


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