Image used by permission of Hay House Publishing Company
In It's Not What You've Got! Lessons for Kids on Money and Abundance, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and Kristina Tracy list ten values we should instill in our children. These values are expressed in poetry, and the rhythm of it all reflects the upbeat manner in which the authors wish for children to see money.
Dr. Dyer notes, " Developing a healthy view of money at a young age can be invaluable, which is why I felt compelled to write this book. The topics I have included within will help your children build a positive perspective on money, using themes and images they can relate to."
The book is true to Dr. Dyer's promise. The values that these authors espouse are time-tested gems that promote the worth of the individual child over the money we sometimes feverishly aspire to accumulate. The authors adopt an abundance mentality in which children are encouraged to be grateful for what they have and then seek to be generous with others.
Of the ten values promoted in "It's Not What You've Got!," perhaps the only one that I would amend—and only somewhat—would be #7: "Follow Your Own Dreams." Yes, following your dreams is great, but it requires sacrifice and usually enabling the dreams of others in a job that gets you by while you are on the way. In other words, following your dreams is not always a direct path. But I'd be hard pressed to put my opinion to verse.
Stacy Heller Budnick provides terrific illustrations. She uses all the colors and motion you would want in a children's book. Everybody—children and adults alike—is smiling, and there's no reason they shouldn't be. This is book of simple hope tied to dreams, hard work, and self-worth. Save the growls and grimaces for "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" (more suitable, perhaps, for the kid who needs fewer cheery pearls of wisdom and more sympathy after a bout of tear-filled shrieks).
The authors cap the story with thoughtful questions related to the 10 lessons they've shared. Thus, the book becomes more than optimistic rhyme by encouraging introspection. This short book might be aimed at children ages 4 to 10, but given the exercises at the end, adults might benefit from it, too.