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9 Picture Books about Money for Preschoolers (Teach Basic Money Skills)

The best read-aloud books about money for preschoolers, who are probably pretty curious about the subject already. I know ours was!

Our child started asking us questions and talking about money when he was preschool-aged.

preschool class circle with teacher reading, text overlay "read-aloud money books for preschoolers"

I remember being surprised, to be honest.

Until the proud-mama moment kicked in – after all, it’s my job to help parents and educators teach kids about money, and here was my own child practically jumping the gun to get started.

Given that kids are naturally curious about money at a pretty young age, and that the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability starts its recommendations in the preschool age range of 3-5 years, I decided to share the best books about money for preschoolers.

These make great read-aloud books that will introduce your preschooler to some money ideas and concepts.

Books about Money for Preschoolers

What exactly should you be teaching preschoolers about money?

Well, the President’s Advisory Council says they should know these things by age 5 (PDF):

  1. You need money to buy things.
  2. You earn money by working.
  3. You may have to wait before you can buy something you want.
  4. There's a difference between things you want and things you need.

Each of the preschooler-aged money books below will help with this.

1. The Penny Pot

Ages: 2+ years

Fran, the art teacher, is running a face painting booth at the school summer fair. Face painting costs $0.50.

Jesse wants her face painted and empties her pockets – a picture of the coins in her pocket is shown, and students see how the coins are added up to just $0.39.

The teacher helped by putting a “penny pot” out where others could put in extra coins they didn’t need and said Jesse could use that money.

Lots of coin math throughout, and a great way to introduce words around “generosity” and what that means.

2. Save It! (the Moneybunny Series)

Ages: 3-5 years

In Honey the Bunny’s world, carrots are money – and Honey earns two carrots each week for helping with her siblings.

Her siblings are super loud, and she wants to save up to buy her own house. Since real houses cost too much, she instead sets her savings goal target on a playhouse that will cost 10 carrots.

I love the carrot money chart showing how many carrots she’ll save each week, and then how long it’ll take her to get that playhouse!

Hint: this is part of a series, and I would also recommend the Give It!, Spend It!, and Earn It! books as well.

3. One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent: All About Money

Ages: Preschool to 3rd grade

Do you think your kids will be interested in the more physical parts of how money is made, plus the history behind it?

This book is all about how people used to trade with one another, then used seashells and other items for money, and finally how coins were minted.  

It’s a really interesting read – especially how other cultures first used coins and money.

4. Betty Bunny Wants Everything

Ages: 2-8 years

Betty Bunny gets to go shopping with her mom and family and ends up filling her cart up with all. The. Things.

A fairy princess doll. A Shake and Rattle Music set. A Techno Monsters Figures pack.

You get the idea.

The only problem? She’s only allowed to choose one to buy.

Eventually, her mother has to carry her out of the store, since she demands all of the toys in her filled cart.

Solution: she was given a limited amount of money that she could use to buy all the toys she could possibly get with it (spoiler alert: she saved a bit of it, and then bought just one toy).

I just love the illustrations.

Hint: also check out the preschool-aged read-aloud books about entrepreneurship here.

5. The Plastic Rectangle

Ages: 2-7

bright blue, teal, and yellow cover with young cartoon girl and. magnifying glass looking at cartoon credit card

Your preschooler has likely noticed that you (or their parents, if you're teaching students) sometimes pay with a plastic rectangle.

Which is what this whole book is about – drawing attention to that plastic rectangle, and helping kids understand that it's still money being spent.

After connecting the plastic rectangle to money, the rest of the book discusses other money subjects, like what in life costs money, bills, and how parents sometimes stress about money.

6. M is for Money

Ages: 3-7 years

brightly colored cover with group of cartoon kids in front of bank building

I happen to loooovvveeee squirrels, which is why I love that this book is narrated by Stash the Squirrel.

Stash the Squirrel loves two things: talking about acorns, and talking about money.

He takes your children and students through the entire alphabet, with each letter represented by a different money word.

For example:

  • A is for Allowance
  • B is for Bank
  • C is for Cost
  • D is for Dollar
  • E is for Earn
  • F is for Free
  • Etc.

Reading this book to your preschoolers could really spark some interesting money conversations and questions (especially given the question prompts by Stash on each page)!

7. Benny’s Pennies

Ages: 3-7 years

Here’s a really simple children's story about spending money.

Benny has 5 pennies. His family has different ideas for how he should spend it, and he slowly fulfills those wishes as he goes about his day (by the way, I wish things were this cheap!).

8. The Berenstain Bears Jobs Around Town (A Faith Story)

Ages: 4-8 years

My son loves this children's book about earning money (thanks, Aunt Molly!) – it takes the Berenstain Bears’ town and shows all the sorts of jobs that people have to keep things running.

Jobs include:

  • Furniture maker
  • Firefighter
  • Police officer
  • Bus driver
  • Plumber
  • Mechanic
  • Banker
  • Teacher
  • Scientist
  • News anchor
  • Etc.

Hint: While there is no discussion in the book about how work earns you money, this is could be a great book opener for talking to kids about where money comes from.

9. Albert the Octopus Accountant

Ages: 3-8 years

bright blue Albert the Octopus Accountant cover with orange octopus behind another book

Albert the Octopus is an eight-legged money helper. In this colorful book (I just love the illustrations), your kids will get a really good and brief overview of lots of different money concepts, like:

  • Why money exists
  • Examples of things you can purchase with money
  • How families get money
  • Where money is kept
  • What plastic has to do with money
  • Saving money
  • Etc.

10. Isabel’s Car Wash

Ages: 4-8 years

Isabel wants a Nelly Longhair doll for $10 like yesterday. The problem is that she only has $0.50.

She brainstorms ways to earn extra money until she settles on the idea of hosting a car wash at her house.

Unfortunately, it would cost $5.00 for the soap and a rag. Since she didn’t have enough, she asked her friends to give her $1.00, and in turn, she said she would pay them back with more than the $1.00.

In the end, she doubles their money, then gets surprised by sales tax when trying to buy the toy (fortunately, she quickly finds the extra $0.50 she needs).

Books about money for preschoolers make some of the best read-aloud stories because kids are usually really interested. They likely have a backlog of questions they don't know who to ask, and these books can open up that conversation. And once you've read these, then they might be ready for books about money for Kindergartners.

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Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, a 2017 Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Money Prodigy. Her money work has been featured on Experian, GoBankingRates, PT Money, CA.gov, Rockstar Finance, the Houston Chronicle, and Colonial Life. Amanda is the founder and CEO of Frugal Confessions, LLC. Read more here or on LinkedIn.