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Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop

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Overview

Pretty Penny has lots of big ideas. For instance, she wants to throw a birthday party for her grandmother, Bunny, but there is only one problem—she doesn't have any money! What's a creative, industrious girl to do? When Penny notices that Bunny's attic is cluttered with old things that still have value, Penny has an idea—create a "Small Mall!" Penny will have to clean up and set up shop in the attic to sell the old items to earn the money for Bunny's surprise celebration. Author/illustrator Devon Kinch has ...
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Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop

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Overview

Pretty Penny has lots of big ideas. For instance, she wants to throw a birthday party for her grandmother, Bunny, but there is only one problem—she doesn't have any money! What's a creative, industrious girl to do? When Penny notices that Bunny's attic is cluttered with old things that still have value, Penny has an idea—create a "Small Mall!" Penny will have to clean up and set up shop in the attic to sell the old items to earn the money for Bunny's surprise celebration. Author/illustrator Devon Kinch has created a charming, stylish character with a signature look, just like such classic children's book characters as Madeline, Eloise, Pippi Longstocking, and Olivia—Penny is never without her fuschia purse! With Pretty Penny's help, kids can get money savvy!


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kinch's debut affirms the idea of moneymaking as a way to achieve praiseworthy goals--to celebrate a relative's birthday, for example. The appropriately named Penny has doll-like eyes, glossy black hair, designer boots, and a pink shoulder bag--think Emily the Not-so-Strange. When her grandmother Bunny waves off her offer of a birthday party ("There is no reason to spend money on a party for a little ol' lady like me"), six-year-old Penny sets up a store, the "Small Mall," to sell Bunny's unwanted attic junk so she can throw her a surprise party. Kinch provides readers with plenty of chat about money and where it comes from ("Bunny owns this yellow building from top to bottom. She... rents out three tidy apartments to neighbors"), polished spreads that include spots crammed with hats, shoes, and other consumer treats; and the occasional moral lesson ("This is not my money--it belongs to Bunny"). This is an honest acknowledgment of the centrality of money in the lives of many young girls, and an attempt to tame and direct it. Ages 4–8. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Dawna Lisa Buchanan
Pretty Penny has big ideas and lots of enthusiasm. She writes a first novel and hosts a dog fashion show. However, when it's time to spend the summer with her artistic grandmother, Penny is stumped as to how to celebrate Bunny's upcoming birthday. It takes her a while, but she finally realizes that her grandmother, who rents apartments, has an attic stuffed with things at the top of the building. Penny goes to work cleaning and sorting and pricing, and holds a "small mall" sale which is well attended by the tenants. Having earned ten dollars, Penny goes to the bakery, buys ten cupcakes, invites all the residents to join her, and throws an impromptu party for Bunny with the earnings from her sale. Pictures are expressive, cartoon style with primary pinks and yellows featuring Penny (of course) and Iggy the Piggy and Bo the cat. Narrative is in first person, and this cheerful story offers opportunities for talking about money and its uses with young readers. Reviewer: Dawna Lisa Buchanan
Kirkus Reviews
Writing a book about earning money—working, that is—that will engage most young kids is no small potato, which is probably one of the reasons we are a nation of debtors. Kinch gives the task a dutiful stab here. The artwork is coolly designerish, with Pretty Penny a doll-like packet of energy—brassy, bossy, determined—racing about her grandmother's big old house with her pet pig, Iggy (whose nostrils look suspiciously like the coin slot in a piggy bank). But the delivery of the story is painfully metronomic—"She racks her brain for one of her big ideas. Nothing comes to her. She just has to wait. And wait some more...Suddenly she has it—a really big idea!" The big idea is to finance a birthday party for her grandmother by staging a sort of yard sale up in her grandmother's attic, selling all her old, unwanted stuff. So Penny affixes price tags and invites the neighbors over to her "small mall," all the while skipping about, swinging her arms like a madwoman and beaming. Despite its emphasis on community and sensible behavior, the leitmotif—financial fundamentals are fun—feels desperately forced. (Picture book. 4-8)
Paul B. Brown
…the takeaway message that even 6-year-olds will understand is that if you want something—like having a birthday party for Grandma—you need to figure out a way to pay the bill.
—The New York Times
From the Publisher

"The options for finding additional — or any — income can be difficult whether you are 6 or 66. But, of course, Penny figures out a way. (If you have ever held a garage sale or sold some superfluous items on eBay, you’ll instantly understand the solution.) And the takeaway message that even 6-year-olds will understand is that if you want something — like having a birthday party for Grandma — you need to figure out a way to pay the bill." - The New York Times

"Kinch provides readers with plenty of chat about money and where it comes from ('Bunny owns this yellow building from top to bottom. She... rents out three tidy apartments to neighbors'), polished spreads that include spots crammed with hats, shoes, and other consumer treats; and the occasional moral lesson ('This is not my money--it belongs to Bunny'). This is an honest acknowledgment of the centrality of money in the lives of many young girls, and an attempt to tame and direct it." - Publishers Weekly

"To my surprise, my daughter has asked me to read Pretty Penny to her every night for the past two weeks. At first we just talked about the book’s cute pets — a lazy pig named Iggy and a sneaky cat Bo — but then one evening it dawned on my little girl that this story is about a rummage sale. Completely out of the blue, my daughter wanted to know how to read price tags and why some items at a store cost more than others. She even asked how to count coins and bills, something I‘ve been trying to explain to her for ages. It turns out that the discussion we had is exactly what Devon Kinch, the author, was trying to accomplish with her tale...A good conversation starter for mothers and fathers who are having trouble finding a way to engage their kids in financial lessons." - Family Finance (CBS Moneywatch blog)

From the Hardcover edition.

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Every summer, Penny stays with her grandmother. Bunny owns a four-story apartment building with an attic on top that contains all of her "stuff." This visit, the six-year-old would like to have a birthday party for Bunny but doesn't have any money to do so, so she decides to sell her grandmother's treasures, with permission. She sorts and cleans and puts prices on all of the things in the attic for her "Small Mall." On sale day, many of the building's residents come to shop, and Penny takes in 10 dollars, but she knows it really belongs to Bunny. The older woman, of course, says that Penny earned the money and can keep it, and the child buys 10 cupcakes and invites the building's residents to her grandmother's apartment for a surprise party. Penny has a pet pig and her grandmother has a cat. Both slightly anthropomorphic animals appear on almost every page. Some of the illustrations are full spreads, but many are just two views per page of Penny preparing for her event. Overall, this money-management primer doesn't accomplish much.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375867354
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Series: Pretty Penny Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

DEVON KINCH is a designer and illustrator who struck upon the idea for Pretty Penny while successfully repairing her own relationship with money after years of accruing debilitating debt. The Pretty Penny series became her thesis work at the Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts. It is Devon's belief that young children can avoid financial trouble by learning how to establish a healthy relationship with money at an early age through fun, creative storytelling. This is her first children's book.

Born and raised in Ramsey, New Jersey, Devon studied painting and art history as an undergraduate and earned her Master's Degree in Design from the School of Visual Arts in 2009. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 28, 2011

    Great book for teaching your kids about the value of money

    We have a 5 year old girl who loves being read to every night at bedtime. I got this book as a way to help her understand the value of money and saving. She loves the story and she is now counting her own money at night with absolute glee. This is a wonderful story and a great way to teach your child how to earn money to pay for important events in their lives. Highly Recommended!

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  • Posted January 28, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I got the book for my daughter who's almost 7 years old and we love it! The book teaches kids to be creative and how to handle money responsively. I highly recommend it to parents that have elementary school aged kids.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    "Pretty Penny": Happiness from Smarts & Work. No Magic Wands Here!

    Next time you read aloud to your child, read "Pretty Penny". Your child will hear an engaging story, see some adorable illustrations and learn some very practical lessons about life. Best of all, these life lessons are presented with humor in a fun and light-hearted story.

    Penny is a wonderful role model for young girls (and young boys, too, actually)! Penny sets a goal, decides to work for what she needs and creates a plan to achieve her goal. In the process, she saves her money and plans her spending. What's more, her goal isn't to acquire something for herself; her goal is to give something to a loved one. Advertisers brainwash children to push parents into buying them things. "Pretty Penny" presents a refreshingly practical and unselfish message to children: work for what you need, plan how to use your money and give to others.

    "Pretty Penny" is the perfect book for story time at nursery school or kindergarten. Moms out there, I hope you show "Pretty Penny" to your child's school teacher, or have your child bring "Pretty Penny" in for show and tell.

    Introduce your kids to "Pretty Penny"! The kids will love the story, enjoy the pictures, and start to learn about a healthy way of living and thinking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    Great Children's Book

    My nieces (6 and 8) loved this book - especially the illustrations! It is original and the artowrk is very appealing.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Pretty Penny Rocks

    Without being preachy, Pretty Penny speaks to little girls about funding their ambitions, recycling good stuff, attaching value and having a good time while doing it. Pretty Penny is creative and spunky, Her pet pig? not so much but seems to be a good earring salespig. The illustrations are super, and the story itself bounces along with all the energy of a young girl. My granddaughter loves the book and so do I!

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    Pretty Penny is Pretty Pleasing!

    What a great book for little girls to learn about money! I happened upon it at the Barnes and Noble store in the new book section and was quite taken with the cover of the book. When I looked inside I found the story and the illustrations enchanting. Penny is hip, savvy, and has a head on her shoulders. She already wrote her autobiography and put on a doggie fashion show. She wants to throw her grandma Bunny a surprise birthday party and the book illustrates how she goes about earning the money to do it. Loved it! Bought several copies for my nieces and recommended it to my friends with kids.

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    Posted November 25, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

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