Today a picture book arrived that reminded me of ML and her friends. Shopkins are a huge part of their life right now. If you don’t know what Shopkins are, consider yourself lucky. Think baseball cards, or Pokemon cards in the shape of small little plastic characters with names like Lolli Poppins, Betty Boot, Zappy Microwave, Mary Meringue, Carrie Carrot Cake… There are commons, rares and ultra rares. Not to mention seasons. Currently, they are on season 4. I’ll admit I had a hard time when ML first showed up at my house with Shopkins because I knew they are probably made by children her age. I posted on fb, “I’m trying to think of shopkins as learning about economics, and history. You know… supply and demand, bartering, social stratification (commons, rares and ultra rares), and child labor.”
Which brings me to the book, Swap! by Steve Light. It’s a delightful book every teacher should own. It teaches economics in a fun, easy to understand way. The illustrations are exciting. It’s the first book I’m adding to this year’s Mock Caldecott 2017.
It’s best described by it’s publisher, Candlewick Press, “In a young scalawag’s first tale of bartering, a peg-legged youngster sets out to help his captain repair his vessel. One button for three teacups. SWAP! Two teacups for four coils of rope. SWAP! And so it goes, until the little swashbuckler secures sails, anchors, a ship’s wheel, and more . . . including a happy friend. Steve Light’s intricate pen-and-ink illustrations, punctuated by brilliant blue and other hues, anchor this clever tale of friendship and ingenuity.