Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Once Upon a Company (review)

Once upon a company...A True Story, by Wendy Anderson Halperin.  Orchard Books, 1998.

When's the best time to add to your Christmas shelf?  Right after Christmas, at the public library...ours has been clearing out the excess, and we were able to pick up a couple of new holiday books.  Once upon a company isn't exactly a Christmas book, but I guess it got shelved with the rest because the kids in the book start a business making and selling Christmas wreaths. 

And what a neat book, as well as a neat idea for a business!  (As the wreath making expands over several years, the kids also open a summer lemonade-stand-plus, and they learn a lot about basic economics and business principles.) The illustrations will keep kids busy picking out details for quite awhile...I hope it doesn't get printed in a smaller or cheaper format, because the pictures would really suffer.
The first year we made seventy-three wreaths.  We gave one to everybody who helped.  The others we sold for twenty dollars apiece.  After we subtracted the money we'd used to buy supplies, we still had some left over.  WE'D MADE A PROFIT!  After Christmas, we went to the bank with our money.
Here is a riddle for you:

What has four legs, can rear up on two, eats Christmas wreaths and probably your shoe?

Answer: Our goat.
And check this out on the author's website:  photos of the real company (including their sandwich-shaped lemonade stand), teaching ideas, and coloring pages.

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