Thursday, November 14, 2013

Shelf Life [kids]

Follow your Money: Who Gets It, Who Spends It, Where Does It Go? By Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka, 56 pages.
When you buy a pizza, a pair of shoes, a video game, a cell phone or a movie ticket, where does your money actually go? What are the costs involved in creating that product, and who will be paid with your money? Who will get most of that money?
Was the price of that product fair … or was it overpriced? Why, for example, is a burger priced at $4.50 (or more) when the ingredients only cost $.62?
Why do things cost what they cost?
Canadian authors Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka introduce young consumers to the way in which money flows in our consumer economy, and they follow the path of that money as it pays for everything involved in manufacturing, marketing, transporting and selling a product. (Some of these costs are obvious, but some are quite surprising.)
The authors also address how product taxes work, why designer products cost more, what happens to money when it’s deposited in a bank, and whether it’s a good idea to get a credit card.
Using an easy-to-follow format and relevant examples, Follow Your Money provides an interesting, informative and much-needed introduction to money plus savvy consumer advice for Canadian tweens and teens. Readers will be better equipped to make informed financial decisions (eg. how to save money when buying a cell phone).
Financial literacy is always relevant, but particularly so in November, which is Financial Literacy Month in Canada.
Kevin Sylvester is an award-winning children’s author, cartoonist, illustrator and CBC Radio broadcaster, and Michael Hlinka provides business commentary for CBC Radio. 

** Recommended for ages 9 to 14 years.

Mom Goes to War by Irene Aparici Martin, 26 pages.
Mom is preparing to go to war.
She is making many preparations, because the war might be a long one, and it will not be easy. However, Mom is determined to win that war, one battle at a time.
The war has a name. It is called “breast cancer”.
As Mom prepares, she knows that she will have friends and allies to help and fight with her. The finest soldiers – her medical specialist and her surgeon - will be on the front lines, using the latest technology and medicine.   
Using an allegorical tale of a queen facing a rebellion, Mom explains to her young sons (her princes) the cancer which is attacking her body (her kingdom) and the treatments which she will receive to destroy the rebel cancer cells. Battling the rebellion will leave her tired and sometimes sick. She may lose her hair. However it will grow back and she will feel better in time. 
Her princes and the king can help by helping around the house and helping to make Mom feel calm and relaxed.  
Irene Aparici Martin, a cancer survivor, addresses breast cancer in a positive, heartfelt way, helping to prepare children for what their mom may undergo in her course of cancer treatment.  Using an unusual – but very effective – allegorical approach, this beautifully-illustrated book even includes touches of humour.

** Recommended for ages 4 to 8 years. 

This review appeared in The Stratford Gazette on November 14, 2013. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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