The Money Tree

When Miss McGillicuddy’s strange new tree starts producing paper currency, first the neighbours, then the town officials and finally perfect strangers come to harvest from the tree.  Miss McGillicuddy cannot understand how they can come in the middle of the night or dig through the snow in the winter.  Meanwhile she continues her life, planting a garden, making jam and bread, until finally, with some neighbour boys, she cuts down the tree, pleased that the wood will keep her warm through the winter.

A modern parable about wealth, this story will produce excellent discussion.  Some may wonder why she didn’t keep all the money for herself, while others will say money doesn’t bring happiness.  What do your kids say?

Written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small, a Michigan husband-wife team, this book quietly and effectively makes a point, and is sure to be read again and again.

This study guide has discussion questions for several of the duo’s books.  The story also begins in January and goes through Miss McGillicuddy’s actions in a Michigan-type setting each month, alongside the growth of the tree.


About AnEducationInBooks

Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of Salad Pie, a children's picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has been published in Emrys Journal Online, The Emerson Review, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres, SmokeLong Quarterly and Leopardskin & Limes, and is forthcoming in NOON. Read more work at or find her on Twitter @BooyTweets.
This entry was posted in Books with social studies links, Michigan author/illustrator, Picture books and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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