We educate young kids about money, equality and sustainability
“Because money is not just a transmission of value: it’s a transmission of values.”
The Books’ Mission
Over the past two decades, Mara Harvey’s work in the financial industry led her to explore the profound differences in the ways men and women approach wealth. Very often women feel less financially confident than men in managing money. Research shows that money messages are biased and this bias starts at very young age. Indeed, little girls tend to get less pocket money than little boys, so there is a gender pay gap already at a very early age. This needs to change. Little girls need to know that there is no reason they should earn less than a boy for the same job equally well done. So Mara decided to find a playful way to convey important money messages around equality, earning, saving, spending and sustainability to young children, and to girls in particular. And voilà, four stories on financial confidence for children came to life.
In a very simple yet compelling way, the stories explain important notions of equal pay, financial confidence, sustainability and impact. The author’s hope is that the next generation of children will no longer associate money with power, competition and greed – but rather with positive notions of equality, ethics and environmental impact.
Prepare your kids for their financial future
A smart way to start offers financial literacy for kids.
Spend a great moment with your child with these 4 books, written in a fun and engaging
way and accompanied by gorgeous watercolour graphics.
How the books came to life
It was a comment by Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, during a live stream from the Equality Lounge in Davos at the World Economic Forum 2018, that sparked the beginning of Mara’s writing. Shelley said “Oh the places you’ll go…with financial confidence”, taking reference to the famous book by Dr. Seuss. Mara suddenly knew what she had to do: she needed fun rhymes for little girls to become financially confident.
So armed with passion, sudden inspiration and years of joyful experiences reading rhymed stories to her children (she thinks she enjoyed those books even more than they did!), Mara set out to put pen to paper – or rather thumbs to iPhone Notes. The stories came gushing out, as if they were just waiting to be unleashed. Each of the four stories is in rhyme, with approximately 1100 words (less than 10 minutes to read), across 32 pages with high quality watercolour illustrations by her wonderful partner, Mariajo Ilustrajo.
Mara’s daughter Tyler gave precious feedback along the way reminding her again and again that “she does not speak Bank”, and that any financial jargon had to be eliminated radically, so money messages would be understandable for children! Tyler was a constant reminder of how the financial industry has alienated so many women and girls with its jargon, and how important it is to change this.
Empower your children
and continue their financial education with our entire Smart Way book series.
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Marty's Smart Way - Bundle
Includes Book set, the secret chapter and the Stickers Sheet
Get all 5 books in the Smart Way series and give your child the ultimate learning experience on how to earn, save, spend and make the right choices!
Smart Way Series - Book 1
The first book in the series “A Smart Way To Start” now comes with a free sticker sheet to make the learning experience more enjoyable for your child!
Smart Way Series - Book 2
The second book in the series, A Smart Way To Save, picks up Marty ‘s story from book one and explores how to save her earned pennies.
I never expected to write children’s books. It just suddenly happened. I was busy writing a book for adults on “WOMEN AND RISK: Rewriting the Rules” to raise awareness for how gender pay gaps and biased money semantics are huge barriers to economic gender equality. When all of a sudden I realized that I wasn’t tackling the root causes: the nosed money messages girls grow up with. So I decided to write books for children, empowering girls to feel confident talking about money and to know their worth.
I’ve always loved rhymes, so I immediately knew I would need to write these books in rhyme. Rhymes can become experiences that stay with us for life. One of my favourite rhymes is “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is to sing out loud for all to hear!” (from the movie ELF) – yes, I love Christmas! And I have spent more nights than I can remember reading ”Room on the Broom” (by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler) to my children.
Bringing money concepts to children in an easy and enjoyable way has become a great passion. Because money is not just a transmission of value, it’s a transmission of values! There are so many opportunities to engage children in shaping the solutions our world needs, so I am keen to continue on this journey and I hope you will all join me!
I am delighted to have Mariajo with me on this adventure – her beautiful illustrations add so much joy to every page I write!
Loving drawing since I can remember, I followed my passion studying illustration at the art school Arte10, in Madrid. I’ve been a freelance illustrator since then, completing projects for a wide range of clients.
Learning never stops, so some years later I moved to Bath (UK), where I studied Graphic Communication at Bath Spa University. I enjoy learning new ways of working, developing new styles or just getting my hands dirty!
Nothing is more important than loving what you do (“sketcher, traveller and tea drinker”). I always carry a pencil and a notebook in my bag. Maybe you’ll find me doodling in a café.
Currently, I am studying MA Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge to continue improving and having fun.
If you want to know a bit more about me: www.mariajoilustrajo.com
Mariajosé Gajate Molina
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About the Author
You want to learn more about Dr. Mara Harvey and her story?
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