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The Jingle in My Pocket

By Gary Bower
Storybook Meadow Publishing Company

7700 Timbers Trail
Traverse City, Michigan 49684

"I only have one Master; not gold, not cash, not jewels. I serve the One who made it all, and over all He rules."

The Jingle in My Pocket is a book for children about Biblical money principles. The story is told in rhyming text from the perspective of a child who is learning about such things as hard work, tithing, saving, wise spending, entrepreneurship, and giving to the needy.

Each page of the book teaches very clearly the how's and why's of handling our money as Christians. The characters of the story first learn the importance of completing chores in their own home and for neighbors while being encouraged to find this work joyful and fulfilling. Then they learn how to thankfully give 10% of their earnings to the Lord and then put a good chunk into savings. The subject of spending is covered as the children are taught to be patient and thoughtful before letting their money burn a hole in their pockets.

Once the children see how exciting "the jingle in their pocket" can be, they decide to start their own businesses to earn more money. But the story doesn't end there. As they plan a lemonade business, the children have to consider such things as loans and credit vs. starting a debt-free business. Once the business is up and running, they are generous and fair business owners!

The book ends with an encouragement to be watchful for needy people and always willing to give. Of course, the entire theme of the book is that everything we have, including our money, is the Lord's. We should use all we have to please and honor Him.

All this sounds like a great deal of information for a small picture book meant to be read to children older than 1st or 2nd grade, doesn't it? Believe it or not, the concepts are not overwhelming in the slightest. All the topics are covered very simply in the easy-to-understand rhyming text.

What I like most are the Bible verses that are delicately imprinted on each page as reference to the money principles being taught. In other words, every single principle taught in the book is backed up with Scripture! The Bible verses alone are lessons in and of themselves, even for adults.

The author's wife has captured the joyful innocence of young children practicing their newfound skills in beautiful oil paintings that add so much to the text. Mr. and Mrs. Bowers are truly a team when it comes to writing and illustrating.

A few neat things are included at the end of the book, too. A page of quotes from such people as Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, and C.S. Lewis gives you "a wealth of wisdom to help keep your pockets jingling and your heart humming." Bills and coins are illustrated on the next page with wise quotes that each of the people pictured on the money said at some point about money and hard work. And a list of wise money sayings has been collected on the last page. I'll leave you with one of the sayings all of us should remember: "Only see the ice cream man if your budget says you can."

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, April 2010

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