Books: Kids Read for a Chance to Win a College Savings Plan | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Books: Kids Read for a Chance to Win a College Savings Plan 

Published February 7, 2014 at 9:37 a.m. | Updated April 4, 2022 at 7:51 p.m.

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Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
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Polacco has written and illustrated more than 50 books for children that deal with sensitive topics such as learning disabilities and racism, many based on her own experiences growing up. It's rare I finish one of her stories without getting a bit choked up. Chicken Sunday is no exception. Polacco tells the tale of young Patricia and her two neighborhood friends, Stewart and Winston. They want to buy a special Easter hat for the boys' grandmother, Miss Eula, whom Patricia loves so much that she considers her a second grandma. Problem is, they don't have enough money saved up. So the kids make special painted Ukranian eggs and sell them in the hat shop of Mr. Kodinski, a gruff old Russian man. When they've earned enough to buy the hat, Mr. Kodinski surprises the children by giving it to them for free. Ms. Eula is so touched by the children's thoughtful gift that she cries tears of joy when she opens it. This book is so emotionally charged that it was hard for me to change gears and bring up the topic of money while we were reading it. But it's a sweet and heart-warming read that illustrates what it really means to be kind and generous. 
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Something Special for Me
by Vera B. Williams
This book — a follow-up to Williams' Caldecott Honor book, A Chair For My Mother — was written more than 30 years ago, but it has a timeless appeal. In it, Rosa and her mama, a waitress at the Blue Tile Diner, keep a big money jar on a shelf in their apartment. Mama puts tips in the jar when she comes home from work, and Rosa, her grandma, aunt and uncle all drop spare change in the jar whenever they have it. Rosa's birthday is coming up, and mama suggests Rosa use the money in the jar to buy something special. But when Rosa goes shopping downtown she has a hard time figuring out something worth emptying the big jar for. After almost purchasing roller skates, then a pretty outfit, then a tent and sleeping bag, she finally decides on a secondhand accordion like her grandma used to play. I appreciated the message this book sent about spending money mindfully. It also spurred a conversation about what tipping is, which I hadn't realized Mira didn't understand before.  

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Alison Novak

Alison Novak

Alison is the former managing editor at Kids VT, Seven Days' parenting publication and writes about education for Seven Days.


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