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Economics and Children's Literature
(Grades K-2)

* Book is located in the University of Delaware Library
* Book is located in the Education Resource Center (ERC)

 Economics in Children's Literature Grades: K-2 | 3-4 | 5-6 | Literature Index
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A Birthday for Frances
Russell Hoban
This story discusses why people trade or barter for things.
A Country Far Away*
Nigel Gray & Philippe Dupasquier
Two boys consume different things; one boy lives in a village in Africa, while the other boy lives in a Western nation.
A Kid's Guide to Managing Money
Joy Wilt
Managing money
This book teaches children how to manage money once they have earned it.
A New Coat for Anna*
Harriet Ziesert
During WWII, a woman trades her valuables for materials she needs to make a coat for her daughter.
Alexander Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday*
Judith Viorst
Opportunity cost
Alexander is forced to deal with the consequences of his actions.
Bananas from Manolo to Margie
George Ancona
Workers/producers, consumers, specialization
The production of bananas in Honduras requires many specialized workers. This book looks at the producers and consumers of bananas.
Bunny Money*
MaryAnn Wells
Saving, spending, decision-making
Fire Fighters
Ray Broekel
Workers/producers, services, specialization
Men and women must go through specialized training programs to become fire fighters because people depend on them in emergencies.
From Seed to Salad
Hannah Lyons Johnson
Children work together to plant, cultivate, and harvest a garden.
"Helping" and "Bang-Klang" in Where the Sidewalk Ends**
Shel Silverstein
Interdependence, workers/producers
These two poems explore different situations in which people must help/rely on others.
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World**
Marjorie Priceman
Hunches in Bunches
Dr. Seuss
A young boy is faced by several different options and struggles to make a decision about how to spend his time. 
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie*
Laura Joffe Numeroff
The little mouse in this story has many wants that soon lead him to desire other things.
In a People House
Theo LeSieg
Uninvited guests, a bird and a mouse, take a tour of a family's house and discover an array of goods.
In My Town
Richard Scarry
The author explains why goods, services, and specialization of workers are all needed to make a town run smoothly.
Little Pig's Tale
Nijel Gray
The main character must decide on what to buy his mother for her birthday.
"Magic Carpet" in A Light in the Attic**
Shel Silverstein
This poem examines the many possible uses of a flying carpet.
Making Up Your Own Mind
Joy Wilt
Decisions and 
This book teaches children how to make decisions involving money and borrowing. 
"Ourchestra," "Pancakes?," "Hector the Collector," "Point of View," "Poor Angus," & "Afraid of the Dark" in Where the Sidewalk Ends**
Shel Silverstein
Productive re-use, realistic vs. unrealistic needs, different people have different wants and opinions
The author uses different poems to teach children lessons about wants and needs.
People Who Help People
Jane Belk Moncure
Family members and community work together to help one another on a daily basis.
People Working
Douglas Florian
This books contains numerous illustrations of people working on land, sea, and air, at all times of the day.
Pigs Will Be Pigs*
Amy Axelrod
A family of pigs needs to eat, but they do not have enough money. The pigs look for money, figure out what it will buy, and go to a restaurant.
"Play Ball" in A Light in the Attic**
Shel Silverstein
This poem explains that children must work together to play baseball.
Richard Scarry's Busiest People Ever and Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day
Richard Scarry
Workers/ producers
Both of these books examine a wide variety of people and the work they do.
Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day
Richard Scarry
Specialization and interdependence
This book looks at a wide variety of occupations.
Round and Round the Money Goes
Melvin and Gilda Berger
This book explains the development of money from its origins to modern usage as cash, checks, and credit cards.
Saturday Sancocho*
Leyla Torres
Talking with Artists**
Pat Cummings, ed.
A group of illustrators discuss how and why they became artists for children's books and include examples of their work from both their childhood and adult experiences.
The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmes
Stan & Jan Berenstain
Brother and Sister Bear learn they cannot have everything they want.
The Goat in the Rug**
Charles L. Blood & Martin Link
Workers/producers, natural, human, and capital resources
This book about a Navajo weaver and her goat provides a step-by-step description of rug making and allows students an opportunity to distinguish between the different types of resources.
The Hundred Penny Box**
Sharon Bell Mathis
Value of money
Michael's relative uses her collection of pennies to teach him about life during the Depression.
The Mitten*
Jan Britt
In this story several woodland creatures try to make a mitten into their new home. However, as more and more animals discover the cozy hideaway space becomes very limited.
The Money Tree
Sarah Stewart
Value of money
A woman grows a money tree in her yard and must deal with the people who want to pick the money tree's leaves.
The "Painter" in A Light in the Attic**
Shel Silverstein
This poem describes the work of a painter.
The Popcorn Book*
Tomie dePaola
Workers/producers, resources
This book discusses the history of producing and preparing popcorn; the author also includes several recipes.
The Story of Money
Ed Steinberg
Value of money
This comic book discusses and illustrates forms of money, its origins and value, and explains why money plays an important role in societies throughout the world.
Tony's Bread
Tomie dePaola
An Italian baker named Tony makes a loaf of bread. 
Tops and Bottoms

Janet Stevens


Entrepreneurship, venture capitalism, investment, competition This book is a sequel to Aesop's
"Hare and the Tortoise". The economic lessons in the story are based upon Hare being down on his luck and finding a way to support his family.
Understanding Money
Carol and James Barkin
Spending, saving, value of money
The author compares the purchasing power of money throughout the world and looks at how savings accounts work.
"Us" in Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein
In this poem a person has a difficult time making a choice.
What Will I be? A Wish Book
Kathleen Krull Cowles
The children in this story imagine what their future jobs will be like.
Where Does This Come From? Bubble Gum
H.I. Peeples
Workers/producers, resources
This book looks at the origin of bubble gum and discusses the means of production.

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