Book Review: Jelly Beans for Sale

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Bruce McMillan is the author of many math- and science-themed books for elementary students.  This one illustrates the value of different American coins, from the penny to the quarter.  Cheerful children in candid photographs are depicted showing how much money they possess, then on the facing page they are shown enjoying the jelly beans they have purchased (1¢ each).  The number of jelly beans being enjoyed increases with the denominations of coins.  The book doesn’t tell a story and is primarily pictorial, although there is an interesting endnote which explains the history of jelly beans (a cross between Jordan almonds and Turkish delight), describes the seven-day process by which modern jelly beans are produced, and mentions that Ronald Reagan held an affinity for jelly beans, even sending them into space.  This note may be more interesting to teachers than elementary students, however.

The main weakness of this book is that, although the photo subjects seem to be having lots of fun, the eighties-style photos seem to be poorly exposed.  Nevertheless, this is a great method to teach various denominations of coins.  I recommend it as a library-checkout, especially if the teacher/parent is able to set up a private jelly bean store afterwards for some buying practice.

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Publication Information: McMillan, Bruce. Jelly Beans for Sale. Scholastic. 1996. ISBN: 0590865846.
Categories: 3 Stars, Age 04-08
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Posted on October 4, 2011

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