By Megan Leonhardt
November 4, 2016

If you’re the kind of parent, grandparent, or auntie who wants to impart some wisdom to the kids in your life, you’re likely already perusing the latest lists of best books for children.

Have you considered books that give lessons on money concepts like saving and spending? Don’t assume it’s too early: 45 states now include some kind of personal finance coursework in their K–12 education standards, up from 21 states in 1998, according to the Council for Economic Education.

And frankly, it’s not just kids who need to be schooled. Earlier this year, nearly two-thirds of American adults couldn’t pass a basic financial literacy test, according to the National Capability Study.

Books are a great way to teach young children about basic money concepts, including budgeting, saving and spending wisely. (You might even learn something while you’re at it.)

Here are 10 books, both fun and educational, that are aimed at kids 10 and under.

One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent: All About Money

Author: Bonnie Worth
Recommended Ages: 4 to 8 years old

Written in the style of the late, great Dr. Seuss, this Cat in the Hat book shows kids all about the different forms of currency and how it’s changed over time. ($9.99, hardcover)

Alexander, Who Used To Be Rich Last Sunday

Author: Judith Viorst
Recommended Ages: 6 to 10 years old

Title character Alexander learns some valuable lessons about difficult it is to save money — and how easy it is to spend it. Some references are a bit dated (bus tokens and returning bottles for a deposit), but the basic tenets of money management shine through in this modern classic. ($6.00, paperback)

A Chair for My Mother

Author: Vera B. Williams
Recommended Ages: 4 to 8 years old

After a fire wipes out one family’s belongings, Rosa and her mother, and grandmother work to save up to buy a comfortable chair for their apartment. The book teaches the value of working together to save money and achieve goals. ($7.99, paperback)

Amelia Bedelia Means Business

Author: Herman Parish
Recommended Ages: 6 to 10 years old

In the first Amelia Bedelia chapter book, the classic character is school-age and still getting into trouble. The often befuddled heroine figures out how to earn money for a new bike. ($4.99 paperback)

Curious George Saves His Pennies

Author: Margaret Rey
Recommended Ages: 4 to 9 years old

Everyone’s favorite monkey must save up for a special red train toy he saw at the toy store. But George learns it’s hard work earning money — especially when he loses his piggy bank. ($4.99, paperback)

The Penny Pot

Author: Stuart J. Murphy
Recommended Ages: 6 to 10 years old

During the school fair, Jessie’s art teacher is running a booth painting faces for 50 cents. Jessie already bought an ice cream and only has 39 cents left, but she’s in luck since there’s a penny pot where children can drop their extra change. The book teaches kids about basic counting and currency. ($5.08, paperback)

Follow the Money

Author: Loreen Leedy
Recommended Ages: 4 to 8 years old

This book is told through the eyes of a quarter, called George. Children follow along as the newly minted quarter is traded, lost, used in a vending machine, and passed around town. In addition to providing a fun introduction to money, the book presents kids with simple math problems throughout the story. ($8.99, paperback)

You Can't Buy a Dinosaur with a Dime

Author: Harriet Ziefert
Recommended Ages: 5 to 9 years old

This rhyming story follows one boy’s adventures with saving and spending money. The book covers basic concepts around money, currency, and simple math. A “more stuff” section in the back of the book also provides fun facts about money. ($6.95, paperback)

Bunny Money

Author: Rosemary Wells
Recommended Ages: 3 to 6 years old

Part of Rosemary Wells’s best-selling Max and Ruby series, this book focuses on the importance of budgeting. Max and Ruby need to find a gift for Grandma, but Max ends up spending some of their money after getting thirsty, hungry, and messy. They end up finding the perfect gift, and learn a few valuable lessons along the way. ($7.99, paperback)

Shadow of the Shark

Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Recommended Ages: 7 to 10 years old

Part of the Magic Tree House series, this book (No. 53) details the adventures in Mexico of two siblings, Jack and Annie. Before they take flight, Jack and Annie discuss how much money they’ll need to budget and how they’ll afford things like food, theme park tickets, and a hotel room during their stay. ($12.99, hardcover)


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