Make Money! Wash Cars is part of Amicus Publishing's "Make Money!" series presenting financial literacy concepts and basic business accounting in a fun, colorful way. Based on the premise that children should work for things they want to buy, this book follows a child who would like to buy an $80 skateboard. Written in an interactive manner, the child discusses washing cars with her Mom and barters for money to buy supplies to begin her car washing business. Through trial and error, over a series of days, the child learns the ins and outs of proper car washing and creates clever business cards to generate more business. She also learns that it's OK to turn down jobs that are too difficult, or that she does not yet know how to do properly, even though they may generate greater income. After working very diligently and only acquiring $40, the young woman asks her friend to join her in business and expands to his block. They earn enough for her to purchase a skateboard, and him to purchase a new helmet and stickers. A "Counting Your Money!" chart at the back of the book shows a handwritten notebook paper tally of costs and income over a three day period. A six word glossary includes pertinent words including bartering, business partner, customer, eco-friendly, service, supplies. The "Read More" and "Websites" page provide informative guides for further study on both earning money and car wash business for kids, in particular. Reviewer: Debra Lampert-Rudman
Gr 1–3—This series focuses on jobs children can have now as opposed to when they grow up. Each title begins with a child who wants something-a new skateboard, MP3 player, etc.-and finds a way to earn the money to buy it. The short, interesting texts cover figuring costs, finding a customer base, and advertising. They also deal with making eco-friendly choices, skills needed and correcting mistakes, and conclude with a balance sheet of income and expenditures. The multicultural characters and cartoonlike illustrations are done in bold, fun colors.