There’s no shortage of books that aim to teach kids about money, and many personal finance titles for adults have religious underpinnings. Christian publisher Sparkhouse Family is betting on the marriage of those segments with a new children’s series called Generous Kids that combines money lessons with moral teachings. It launches in August 2018.
The first three titles—Mine!, It’s Not Fair!, and The Wrong Shoes, all written by Caryn Rivadeneira, whose books include 2014’s Broke—cover topics appropriate for children ages two to eight. Andrew DeYoung, director of product development at Sparkhouse and the editor of the series, says that each book offers two components: a financial lesson in, for example, budgeting and saving, and a deeper philosophical and emotional discussion of money, such as how sharing creates community and the ways money may be used to make the world a better place.
The books deliver their spiritual content with a “light touch,” DeYoung says. “The themes are based on who we are as a Christian publisher, but we believe they have currency for a wide variety of people.” Each book includes a URL that sends readers to online content that’s more explicitly religious, such as related Bible verses, and the publisher has also produced a Sunday school course centered on the books.
To create the series, Sparkhouse Family partnered with Brightpeak Financial, a division of the faith-based investing company Thrivent Financial. Brightpeak is serving as a content expert for the cobranded books, advising the publisher on what children are capable of understanding about money and generosity at various ages, for example.
DeYoung differentiates the series from other financial books for children, which tend to focus on saving and spending. “The skill that gets presented is usually math,” he says. “We hope that, whether someone is coming to us via the general market or through the church or Christian trade market, they’ll see hard skills about money but also a deeper approach that gets at a child’s safety, security, contentment, self-worth, and generosity.”