Interview With LaDonna Smith (The Money Tree, Children)

The money tree book cover copy


In your own words, please describe your book….
The money tree explains basic financial concepts and practices in plain and easy to understand language that children can comprehend and use in their day-to-day lives. The clear text and playful illustrations aim to simplify financial concepts like earning, saving, interest, the difference between needs and wants, and the joy of running one’s own business. To make the otherwise boring topic interesting, the concepts have been explained through small anecdotes accompanied with colorful illustrations to stimulate children and ignite a love of saving.

What is the genre? 

Children’s Picture story book

What inspired you to write this book?

I am a mom, and my children inspired me to write my the money tree. I draw inspiration for my book ideas from several typical parenting routines; watching my children play or argue, overhearing them sing or talk, and listening to all the amazing ideas, concerns, & request that they come up with. I was inspired to write the money tree after a shopping trip where my children begged for a very expensive electronic toy. I wanted to write a story that could explain financial concepts in plain easy to understand language that my children could understand.

Will this book be a standalone or part of a series?

Originally this book was written as a standalone story book, but I have since been inspired to created a series of stories explaining financial concepts in more depth. The series of books will cover topics such as saving and budgeting, earning and investing, and the consequences of good and bad decision making with money.

What message would you like to convey with this book?

Financial literacy is incredibly important. Knowing how to spend and save money is an important part of learning how to be a responsible adult. The sooner that a child learns to budget and save, the more financially prepare he or she will be in the future.

What books are similar to this one?

The Berenstain Bears-Trouble with money, The Benestain Bears-Dollars and Sense, and Money Smart kids -Christian and daddy go shopping.

Where can readers find The Money Tree?


FYD Publishing


Can you tell us some about the writer behind the book?

I am a certified financial educator whose goal is to educate youth from all walks of life on how to find their path to financial empowerment. I reside in New York state along with my husband and four wonderful children.

Tell us one thing about you we wouldn’t know?
I sleep with a journal and a pen underneath my pillow. My motto is “You never know when you will have a great idea for a story, so always be prepared to write.”

How can readers connect with you?

Readers can connect with me via my website  or on Facebook.


What are you working on now?

Along with the release of “the money tree” I have launched a financial literacy program called START or savings today and riches tomorrow. The START program aims to address the issues we, as a society, have with financial literacy by using the money tree as a way to connect the dots the start program will collaborate with schools and banks to introduce banking concepts to young children with fun, and interactive workshops.

Do you have any other books released? What is your next release?

No. At the moment I don’t have any other books released. I am currently brainstorming ideas for the money tree series.


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