Priya Fonseca reviews the Rupaiya Paisa series - written by Mala Kumar and illlustrated by Deepa Balsavar.
There’s an Indian book series that is recommended by CBSE that we should certainly not pass off with the disdain often accorded to school text books. The Rupaiya Paisa books are a series of four books sold together by Pratham Books. Author Mala Kumar has done an excellent job of keeping the content relevant and focused especially when the topic of money can be so vast and daunting.
Most parents don’t know where to start when explaining monetary concepts with children. My husband and I too thought that we had covered all the basic aspects and were in for a rude shock when we realised our seven year old son’s concepts about money were quite muddled. It was cute for him at four years to think of a bank as a place from where he could get sweets, but now he needs to understand other things like what banks do, plastic money, concept of credit, saving, investing, earning, understanding the value of money and a lot more. Recently without checking with us he gifted our maid a larger monetary gift from his piggy bank than we presented her for her birthday. That was followed by an incident when he went to buy sweets with one note, asked for certain sweets, and came back not knowing how much money he had left behind. While it warms my heart that he has no problem sharing from his piggy bank, I know we need some assistance pronto with this subject.
The Rupaiya Paisa series is eye catching with very lovely illustrations by Deepa Balsavar so my son quite enjoys reading the books himself too. We prefer reading this series out loud to him so that he can ask questions if he doesn’t understand something. It’s best to go step by step with these books and maybe even complete one book; let the information sink in for some time and then go on to the next at a slightly later date. ‘Big’ words are explained as and when they come up in the text so if you skip a book, the child may come across a term that does not have a detailed explanation as it has been explained in a previous book of the series.
Ideally read through the books yourself before presenting them to your child or starting the reading sessions. If your child is young or you believe there may be sections that are too advanced for current comprehension just skip them for now and go back to them at a later date. The series is perfect for kids 7+ years. Buy the series from the online store. My buying experience was smooth and the books arrived in two days. The store has a whole host of interesting books so you may want to browse while you are there. They also have almost all books in different languages.