Book Review: The U.S. Piggy Bank by Karl Steam

What is debt and how big is a trillion? These questions are explored as readers learn about the size of the nation’s debt. Despite all the negative numbers, this book manages to spin a positive message. It introduces a topic that normally causes division and uses it to promote hope and unity—two American values that have served the nation well over the years.

Its hard not to gasp when a trillion is put into perspective. Fun size comparisons will captivate audiences just as they do in “How Much Is a Million” by Steven Kellogg and David M. Schwartz. The U.S. Piggy Bank does not stop there though. It introduces a topic that effects every U.S. citizen, allowing readers to feel a personal connection with the story.

Learning extensions are abundant with this book. Lesson ideas for math, social studies, and language arts are listed in the back, making it a great resource for classrooms and home learning environments. If you’re looking for a gift that a teacher will use year after year, this is it.


My Book Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I found The U.S. Piggy Bank interesting. It starts with several comparisons to explain how much a trillion is. For example, if you stack a trillion golf balls, it would stretch from Earth to Venus!

After demonstrating how much a trillion is, the importance of national debt is explained, as well as the importance of it not being too high. A short history is given as well.

Although The U.S. Piggy Bank is written with children in mind, it’s a good book for everyone to read, especially politicians. It’s only 39 pages long, so anyone can find the time to read it. Also included are suggested classroom activities in math, social studies, and language arts with a link to activity pages on the author’s website.

About the Author

Karl Steam is a children’s author and illustrator. Some of his works include Purple Pup, How Santa Changed, and the Kids vs. Nature series. He resides in the Lakes Region of the Upper Midwest with his wife and four children. Karl enjoys fishing, camping, and traveling. Oh yeah, he likes writing too.