Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop Written and Illustrated by Devon Kinch

The cover of author/illustrator Devon Kinch‘s Petty Penny Sets Up Shop (2011, Random House Children’s Books) drew me in because I used to set up stores of my own with all my new school clothes each August. I would hang up my clothes (price tags still on) all around my room and try to sell them back to my parents who had just bought them for me!

Kinch’s debut children’s book, Petty Penny Sets Up Shop is about a girl named Penny who wants to celebrate her grandma Bunny’s birthday. After realizing she does not have money, Penny decides to sell items (mostly everything except her doll house) and call the shop Small Mall. Wildly successful, Penny has earns enough money to buy cupcakes for her grandma’s surprise birthday party.

Here are three reasons I LOVE Petty Penny Sets Up Shop: 

(1) Kinch tells an important story about a girl who exhibits smart finances in a fun without being too preachy. Sure, it’s a book about a girl who exhibits financial sense, but it also has a really good narrative structure that kids will enjoy. Financial literacy is being discussed more and more in literary circles, and this children’s picture book is a wonderful way to introduce younger kids to ideas about saving for what one wants. The author’s note states, “It is Devon’s belief that young children can avoid financial trouble by learning the basics of finance and establishing a healthy relationship with money at an early age.” I think she definitely does just this.

(2) I LOVE the colorful illustrations. I especially like the pages on which Penny is absolutely relishing in her attic’s The Small Mall. Kinch pays such attention to detail and color, and Penny’s true genius really comes through on this page.


(3) The book has a great narrative voice. An easy read-aloud, parents and teachers will enjoy sharing this book with their kids and students. Told in an upbeat and cheery tone, Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop will become a reading circle favorite!

Let me know what you think of Petty Penny Sets Up Shop in the comments below!

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