Billie and the Blue Bike
Magabala Books, 2021
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- Palyku people (A55) (WA SF51-09)
‘Billie and the Blue Bike’ explores financial literacy and money management in an entertaining and accessible way that will appeal to children.
Billie desperately wants a new bike, but it costs $100 and, with so many family commitments, her mum can’t afford to buy it for her. So Billie asks her Uncle Jack. He offers to help her save up for the bike by earning money working in his gardening business. But Billie decides to try quicker ways of earning money, like washing cars and entering her dog in a competition. She soon discovers that there’s no easy way to make money. It’s only when she accepts Uncle Jack’s kind offer and works hard that she achieves her goal.
The interactive text and colourful, well-designed illustrations make learning about money a breeze. Kwaymullina includes clues within speech balloons in the illustrations that allow visual as well as verbal interpretation of the narrative. This is especially effective for showing numbers and sums. And the double-page spread using a board-game format to show how Billie finally earns her $100 working in the garden is particularly clever.
This is a fabulous way to get children talking about saving for something that they really want and learning the true value of money and how to spend it wisely.
Ambelin Kwaymullina is the daughter of renowned Indigenous author and illustrator Sally Morgan, and a fine artist and author in her own right, as well as a law academic. She belongs to the Palyku people of the eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia. She has donated the proceeds of this book to the Magabala Books’ Small Seeds program, which ensures that children across Australia have access to culturally relevant books.
- ASIC. MoneySmart. ‘Teaching Kids about Money.’ https://moneysmart.gov.au/teaching-kids-about-money
- Queensland Government. Department of Education. ‘Consumer and Financial Literacy.’ https://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/stages-of-schooling/consumer-financial-literacy
- Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. ‘National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework, including competencies for young people’ http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/Financial_Literacy_Framework.pdf
- The University of Western Australia. Research output for Ambelin Kwaymullina, abstract of ‘Billie and the Blue Bike’ and research topics for this book https://research-repository.uwa.edu.au/en/publications/billie-and-the-blue-bike
- GLAM Adelaide. Book Review by Sue Mauger, 11 February 2021, ‘Billie and the Blue Bike’, by Ambelin Kwaymullina https://glamadelaide.com.au/book-review-billie-and-the-blue-bike-by-ambelin-kwaymullina/