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Lion, king, and coin by Jeong-hee Nam

Lion, king, and coin

by Jeong-hee Nam

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2212720,676 (3.73)11
National Council for the Social Studies-Children's Book Council: 2018 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young PeopleA fascinating story about the invention of currency Laos enjoys his life in ancient Turkey. His father and grandfather are blacksmiths, famous for melting gold into beautiful objects. Laos helps by working in his grandfather's market stall, bartering their gold for food and livestock. But exchanging such different goods and quantities is complicated. What they need is something to represent the value of their goods, something durable and lightweight. And so the king comes to Laos's family with a very important task: to create something that will make the market accessible to everyone. This Trade Winds book introduces readers to the world's first coin and gives them an appreciation for modern-day currency.… (more)



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Lion, King and Coin takes a fun look at what must have happened in the making of the first coins. The child's voice is real and a great way to get kids to understand that coins, like everything else in our modern world had a beginning. The illustrations are a perfect way of capturing the time period. ( )
  FCClibraryoshkosh | Apr 12, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"Lion, King, and Coin" is a historical fiction picture book introducing the use of coins as currency in ancient Sardis.

Its strongest points are the illustrations, historical information at the back, and the inclusion of the Midas Touch myth as explanation for why their particular river contains so much gold.

The first-person narrative seems stilted at times: descriptions of the panning and smithing processes are interesting, but at the end, the family is still running a gold stall at the market. "My uncle's stall is peaceful now. All he does is sell pieces of gold and accept coins in exchange." ... but the coins were made (of gold, of course) by the family. Why are they still selling raw gold and accepting the coins they manufactured (an arduous process, it would seem: "It was hard work to make a coin."), without mention of how they were compensated for having also become the royal mint.

The problem doesn't seem well presented: the uncles complains that he traded gold for a cow, but the cow ran away. Wouldn't he still need a cow at some point to provide for the family? It seems the solution to his problem might be a fence, or putting our young narrator in charge of watching the cow, but creating coinage is rather a leap.

Especially since it isn't particularly clear what problem, exactly, needs to be solved, this particular family really seems to be out a lot of labor with the solution.

I liked this book on first reading, but when I started describing it for this review I realized I wasn't all that impressed...

Still, the illustrations are lovely: stylized and evocative; they make the book enjoyable despite its "plot holes." If I were reading to a very young child, I would probably alter the text. If used for older children, I would encourage them to focus on the timeline and historical information at the back.
  theresearcher | Aug 15, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Lion, King, and Coin is a lovely yet educational story by Jeong-hee Nam. Concerning how and why currency, similar to what we use today for commerce, was developed, this story takes the young reader into the distant past to Sardis, the capital of Lydia (modern day Turkey). We follow a young boy named Laos as he observes his merchant father and uncle in how they traded goods each day with local shoppers. Through a set of circumstances, they begin to mint and use gold coins for trade - and in a simplistic manner, the reasoning of how and why currency was developed is presented.

Not being a teacher, I do not know how I would use this book in a classroom, but as an older retried woman who watches children between the ages of 5 and 8, 3 days a week, I used it during one of our quiet reading times. There is good information in the back of the book to guide the "teacher" as s/he reads the book so the children will understand the terms, location, etc. that is discussed in the book.

The artwork is lovely - not overly done and several of "my children" spent time just looking at the pages after we read and talked about the story and what we learned.

Without outside information, it is a nice story but not truly educational so it is important for guidance if you are using it for that reason. If it is 'just to read' there is no problem. It is not offensive in any manner, a child can read it solo. Over all I enjoyed the book. ( )
  PallanDavid | Jun 12, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Lovely, interesting and different. ( )
  TildenSchoolLibrary | Jun 6, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a really enjoyable book. I liked the content and particularly loved the last few pages where you learned concrete facts. As a licensed teacher I question the reading level of this book, though I could see reading this to all ages of elementary students. The sentence structure of the main story is easy enough to entertain elementary students while the content and last few pages are more than enough information for the later years of elementary school. The illustrations were amazing. 4.5/5 ( )
  WhitneyG182 | May 1, 2017 |
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