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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bunny Money

bunny money
Bunny Money
by Rosemary Wells

Max & Ruby books by Rosemary Wells are quite popular.

Somehow Ana (and Og) never liked much of Max & Ruby until Bunny Money. Ana fell in love with this book on first read.

Max and Ruby want to get a birthday present for Grandma. Ruby has 15 dollars in her wallet, and Max has his lucky quarter. They set off together into town. Ruby knows exactly what she wants to get her Grandma. And so does Max. Do they manage to buy exactly what they want for Grandma?

What made Ana like this book? Well, apparently, the subtraction exercise on practically every page. As Max and Ruby set about spending their money, Ana went about calculating how much they have left from the 15¼ dollars that they started out with.

It probably helped to see Max buy a set of vampire teeth with oozing cherry syrup, promptly try it on, drip cherry syrup all over his clothes, and get to the laundromat for clean-up.

Ruby was certainly not thrilled that Max kept incurring unexpected expenditures. These little situations Max gets into with Ruby coming to the rescue resonated with Ana who finds her little brother Oggie getting into more than a regular share of trouble.

The underlying theme of Earning, Saving, and Spending money and the math lesson along the way made this a wonderful read for me. Each page visually depicts the wallet getting depleted as they spend their money. No easy immediate way to replenish it. Once it is spent, that money is gone.

As Max spends the last dollar Ruby was hoping to use for the bus ride home, we wonder how will they get home. But, Max's lucky quarter comes to the rescue. Ruby uses it to telephone Grandma to pick them up.

Why does she need a quarter for the telephone? asked Ana. It helped introduce the concept of paying for phone usage, and for other utilities we use around the house.

Plus, front and back has "Bunny Money" - bunny dollar bills - that we can print out and use for our pretend "shopping trips".

Curiously, Oggie liked this book very much as evidenced by repeat requests for reading it at bedtime. "Max is silly, Mama" about sums up his attraction to the book. However, with every read, I was not allowed to skip the last bunny money page where various world famous people were depicted in the bunny dollar bills - from Mahatma Gandhi in his signature dhothi, to Frida Kahlo with the unmistakable uni-brow.

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