21 Children's Books About Money

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Earn It! book
#1
Earn It!
Written and illustrated by Cinders McLeod
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In this delightful introduction to the simple concept of earning money, an exuberant little bunny learns that fame and fortune must be earned. Bun wants to be rich and famous. She loves to sing and knows she’s meant for a career on stage. It should all be pretty easy—her mom can just drive her to the concert hall to perform! But her mom reminds her that most good things, like the garden they are growing, take time and work. At first, Bun isn’t terribly excited by the idea of singing lessons and practice, but as she does the math and daydreams about her future singing career, the more she starts to like the idea of earning her way to stardom—a feeling just as good as being rich and famous!

Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan book
#2
Sam the Man & The Chicken Plan
Written by Frances O’Roark Dowell and illustrated by Amy June Bates
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Sam the Man wants to earn some money and he’s got a cluck-worthy plan in this endearing chapter book that’s the first in a new series from Frances O’Roark Dowell. Sam the Man needs a job. Even his sister gets twenty bucks a pop for mowing people’s lawns! But seven-year-olds aren’t allowed to mow lawns, so Sam decides to ask his next door neighbor if she needs help doing other chores. It turns out she’ll pay him a whole dollar each time he can convince her dad, Mr. Stockfish, to join him for a walk. But it turns out that getting Mr. Stockfish to leave the living room isn’t easy. AND a dollar a pop isn’t going to cut it. So when Mrs. Kerner, another neighbor, asks if Sam would like to watch her chickens, Sam jumps on the task. You can count on him, yes indeed. Watching chickens is more fun than he expects, and comes with an added bonus: it turns out that visiting the chickens is the one thing that can coax Mr. Stockfish out of the house! But what does a seven-year-old do with all the money he’s earning? It’s too little for a bike, and too much for candy. But wait! It’s just enough for a chicken of his own—the kind that lays BLUE eggs! Soon he has a whole waiting list of kids who want to buy a blue egg. And what does Sam plan on doing with his new fortune? Buy Mr. Stockfish his own chicken, of course!

Sam and the Lucky Money book
#3
Sam and the Lucky Money
Written by Karen Chin and illustrated by Ying-hwa Hu, Cornelius Van Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Sam must decide how to spend the lucky money he's received for Chinese New Year.

How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty book
#4
How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty
Written by Nathan Zimelman and illustrated by Bill Slavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Chronicles the triumphs and setbacks of the second grade as they try a variety of schemes to raise money for a trip to the Statue of Liberty.

Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! book
#5
Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee!
Written by Andrea J Loney and illustrated by Keith Mallett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

James Van Der Zee was just a young boy when he saved enough money to buy his first camera. He took photos of his family, classmates, and anyone who would sit still for a portrait. By the fifth grade, James was the school photographer and unofficial town photographer. Eventually he outgrew his small town and moved to the exciting, fast-paced world of New York City. After being told by his boss that no one would want his or her photo taken -by a black man, - James opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance--politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith--and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too. Everyone wanted fancy portraits by James Van Der Zee. Winner of Lee & Low's New Voices Award, Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! tells the story of a groundbreaking artist who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people.

Rodzilla book
#6
Rodzilla
Written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This just in! There’s a Rodzilla on the loose! Is he a monster…or just your typical toddler? Tune in for the full report in this riotous picture book from Rob Sanders and Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat. Rodzilla is the mightiest toddler to ever roam the streets of the city. Marvel at the sight of his chubby monstrosity. Gaze at his toothless grin. Take a whiff of his…no, don’t do that. Only a mother could love such a creature. Rodzilla is taking over the city (that is really his playpen) and causing all sorts of chaos for its inhabitants (um, his parents). Can he be stopped before he toddles one step too far? Told as an action-packed news report, kids will love following Rodzilla on his mighty tear through the city, and ultimately back to his parents’ arms. Because sometimes even monsters need a little help.

Piggy Bank Problems book
#7
Piggy Bank Problems
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Katie goes to the bank with her friends JoJo and Pedro, and learns the value of having a place to keep her money.

Monkey Business book
#8
Monkey Business
Written by Leslie Margolis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

A music festival is coming to town, and Annabelle and her friends can't wait to rock out--that is if they can earn enough cash to buy the expensive tickets. In this day and age, a regular old lemonade stand isn't going to cut it. They'll need to get creative, but agreeing on a strategy is harder than Annabelle thought, especially when her best friend, Rachel, has strong opinions that threaten not just their business model, but their friendship as well. With big plans--and big changes--afoot, there's no time for Annabelle and crew to monkey around! Capturing the ups and downs of friendship, family, and middle school in her pitch perfect storytelling, Leslie Margolis keeps readers coming back for more of life according to Annabelle Stevens.

Finders Keepers book
#9
Finders Keepers
Written by Shelley Tougas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the author of The Graham Cracker Plot, a story about two friends playing finders keepers for the missing loot of Al Capone. Christa spends every summer at the most awesome place in the whole world: her family's cabin on Whitefish Lake, Wisconsin. Only her dad recently lost his job and her parents have decided to sell the cabin. But not if Christa can help it. Everyone knows there is Al Capone blood money hidden somewhere in Whitefish Lake, and her friend Alex's cranky grandpa might have the key to finding it. Grumpa says the loot is gone, or worse—cursed!—but Christa knows better. That loot is the only thing that can save her family. Finders Keepers by Shelley Tougas is a brilliant story full of heart about family, love, and the treasure hunt of a lifetime, from the author of The Graham Cracker Plot and A Patron Saint for Junior Bridesmaids. "A charming story of family history and personal connections (both lost and found) that is reminiscent of Blue Balliett and the Penderwicks' adventures." —Booklist, starred review “The fast-paced ending has enough bite to satisfy. The premise will cause inevitable comparisons to Gennifer Choldenko's Alcatraz tales, but the story stands on its own. Entertaining and humorous; good light fare for middle graders.” —Kirkus Reviews

Save It! book
#10
Save It!
Written and illustrated by Cinders McLeod
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A charming introduction to simple money concepts in which a little bunny learns about the power and satisfaction that come with saving money. Honey earns two carrots a week for taking care of her siblings. Her FIVE siblings who are so loud and bouncy, she wishes she had a place of her own to escape to for some peace and quiet. So what’s a bunny to do? Get creative and figure out a savings plan–even if it means forgoing a treat or two. But saving is worth it because with a little patience and perseverance, Honey will be able to make her dream of having her owns space come true! This is the third book in the internationally acclaimed Moneybunnies Series–following Spend It! and Earn It!

Goodnight Bob book
#11
Goodnight Bob
Written by Ann Hassett and illustrated by John Hassett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

It's bedtime for Bob. But, oh no, he sees a pair of eyes in the dark! Who is it? With a flashlight, Bob discovers it's a friendly creature wishing him goodnight. Goodnight, Bob! Then more eyes appear. Who is it now?

Miss Fox's Class Earns a Field Trip book
#12
Miss Fox's Class Earns a Field Trip
Written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Anne Kennedy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Miss Fox's class wants to go to Roller Coaster Planet--but they have to earn their way to the park. When their fund-raising attempts go awry, the class discovers their earnings are going down, not up! This fun picture book introduces kids to budgeting.

Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock book
#13
Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock
Written by Sheila Bair and illustrated by Barry Gott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Gramps teaches his twin grandsons the value of saving money when he pays each a dollar a week to help with summer chores, then matches every dollar each boy saves.

Baby's First Bank Heist book
#14
Baby's First Bank Heist
Written by Jim Whalley and illustrated by Stephen Collins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Move over, Bonnie and Clyde, because there’s a new criminal mastermind in town . . . Baby Frank! Baby Frank is dangerously cute, and he’s about to pull off the most daring baby bank heist ever. Why? His parents say that he can’t have a pet—“pets are for older kids,” “be happy with your teddy,” and “they cost too much to keep,” they say. What’s a baby to do . . . ? Rob a bank, of course! You have been warned . . . With eye-catching illustrations from Guardian cartoonist Stephen Collins, this laugh-out-loud rhyming text is Boss Baby meets Mission Impossible.

Spend It! book
#15
Spend It!
Written and illustrated by Cinders McLeod
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A charming introduction to simple money concepts in which a bunny learns he can’t buy everything he wants with his allowance! Sonny gets three whole carrots a week for his allowance and wants to buy everything with it! But he soon discovers his money won’t go that far, and his mom tells him he needs to make some choices. That doesn’t sound like much fun to Sonny, especially when he learns that the bouncy castle he’s been eyeing goes for ONE HUNDRED carrots. Ridiculous! But eventually, after a little math and a little more thinking, he has a blast discovering what’s really important to him and worth spending his carrots on.

Payback on Poplar Lane book
#16
Payback on Poplar Lane
Written by Margaret Mincks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old Peter Gronkowski prides himself on being a professional businessman. Tired of the cliched lemonade stands that line his block, he decides to start a better business with the help of an intern. But his intern of choice, the quiet and writerly Rachel Chambers, turns out to be more than he bargained for. Rachel is innovative, resourceful, driven--and when she's had enough of Peter's overbearing management style, she decides to start a competing empire next door. As their rivalry and sabotage tactics become more outrageous--Slander! Espionage! Lemonade threats!--Peter and Rachel ultimately learn the hard way that "nothing gold can stay" and that friendship is more important than money. Alternating perspectives reveal what really motivates each character to win. And Peter's memos and "business tips" as well as excerpts from Rachel's melodramatic novel-in-progress generate fresh hilarity and tension at every page turn. Payback on Poplar Lane is a pitch-perfect comedy with heart, reminiscent of your favorite classic middle-grade series.

Einstein the Class Hamster Saves the Library book
#17
Einstein the Class Hamster Saves the Library
Written by Janet Tashjian and illustrated by Jake Tashjian
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

With the school library in danger of closing, it's up to one classroom pet and his friends to save the day. It's another day at Boerring Elementary, and Einstein the class hamster, lover of fun facts, is getting ready for his game show when in walks Principal Decker with some bad news. Due to severe budget cuts, the school library will be closed for the rest of the year. How is this possible? The library is the heart of the school! Einstein is determined to find a way to save the library. With the help of Marlon the turtle, his friend Ned, and Ms. Moreno's entire class, plans are put in motion! Janet and Jake Tashjian are back with another winning story starring the lovable walking encyclopedia, Einstein the class hamster. Full of quirky humor from a talking animal with lots of personality, this illustrated chapter book will have reluctant readers laughing and asking for more of Einstein's zany adventures. This title has Common Core connections. Titles in the Einstein the Class Hamster series: Einstein the Class Hamster Einstein the Class Hamster and the Very Real Game Show Einstein the Class Hamster Saves the Library More from Janet Tashjian: The Sticker Girl series: Sticker Girl Sticker Girl Rules the School The My Life series: My Life as a Book My Life as a Stuntboy My Life as a Cartoonist My Life as a Joke My Life as a Gamer My Life as a Ninja My Life as a Youtuber The Marty Frye, Private Eye series: Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of Stolen Poodle Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Missing Action Figure

Froggy's Lemonade Stand book
#18
Froggy's Lemonade Stand
Written and illustrated by Jonathan London
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Froggy has a lemonade stand, but he’s done it his way! Froggy has great plans for all the money he’s going to make from his lemonade stand. But there’s a problem: he was so thirsty that he drank all the lemonade. Luckily lovable Froggy has lots of good friends to help him find a solution. Even if they don’t get rich, they all have a very good time!

Breaking the Piggy Bank book
#19
Breaking the Piggy Bank
Written by Martha Maker and illustrated by Xindi Yan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Bella, Emily, Maddie, and Sam decide to create their very own start-up—a lemonade stand!—in this fifth book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series. Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. Bella, Emily, Maddie, and Sam have been hard at work in their craft studio—so busy in fact, that their supplies are starting to dwindle. It’s time to stock up! In order to add a little money to their piggy bank, the friends decide to combine their skills and use the last of their allowance to create their very own business: a lemonade stand! But something’s not quite right. While the stand looks fabulous, the lemonade is…not. Can these crafty entrepreneurs save their business before it’s too late? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

Lost in Hollywood book
#20
Lost in Hollywood
Written and illustrated by Cindy Callaghan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

When Ginger Carlson's aunt finds herself in financial trouble, Ginger's entire family and her best friend head to Hollywood to help find the missing money.

Kat Wolfe Investigates book
#21
Kat Wolfe Investigates
Written by Lauren St John
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When twelve-year-old Kat Wolfe starts a pet-sitting agency, she soon finds herself unraveling a mystery, in this first book of a new middle-grade series from award-winning author Lauren St. John. After a break-in at their London home, Kat Wolfe and her veterinarian mum decide it’s time to move to the country. Dr. Wolfe’s new job on England’s Jurassic Coast comes with a condition: They have to adopt Tiny, a huge Savannah who resists Kat’s best attempts at cat whispering. Kat starts a pet-sitting agency to make pocket money, but then the owner of her first client, an Amazon parrot, vanishes from his gadget-filled mansion. Only one person shares Kat’s conviction that he’s the victim of foul play: Harper Lamb, an American girl laid up with two broken legs thanks to her racehorse. Kat and Harper team up, but what starts out as mystery-solving fun turns deadly for the duo. When all clues point to a nearby army base, can they count on their unruly animal friends to save the day—and their lives?

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!