Dash and Nikki and The Jellybean Game (Anthony C. Delauney)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Dash and Nikki and The Jellybean Game, written by Anthony C. Delauney and illustrated by Chiara Civati, a lesson in the value of saving, sharing, and siblinghood.

Siblings Dash and Nikki awake one morning to a jar of jellybeans and a challenge issued by their parents: each sibling will start with ten jellybeans, and for each hour that passes with ten jellybeans remaining, they will gain five more. Nikki impatiently eats her ten beans right away, but Dash commits to saving his beans, intent on winning the jar of jellybeans at the end of the day. However, after seeing his pile of jellybeans grow and watching his sister mourn her lost opportunity, he makes her a deal: he will loan her ten jellybeans (that she will pay back with interest at the end of the day) so they can complete the game together. Can the siblings make it to their jellybean jar prize?

An intriguing way to explore financial responsibility. Debut author Delauney has a surprising gift for rhyme, an area where many first-time kidlit authors struggle; the text is well-paced and flows nicely, even when read aloud, despite a few slightly awkward lines. Similarly, Civati’s computerized illustrations lack a bit of depth and texture, but are still full of enough engaging characters and visuals to fit the story well. The financial lesson is a solid one, though some backmatter further explaining the concepts of interest and loan repayment might have been helpful. The length isn’t bad for elementary-aged bookworms, and JJ enjoyed the text and, well, the jellybeans. Overall, a solid effort whose strengths well-outweigh any rough edges, and definitely worth a look for caregivers and educators looking to explore financial concepts with kiddos. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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