Hao and Sabine Buy the World's Currencies


Children - Non-Fiction
224 Pages
Reviewed on 10/06/2021
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Author Biography

SB Hilarion is the author and lead illustrator of three narrative nonfiction children's books in the Raising Young Scholars Series. She is passionate about showing the similarities among world cultures and broadening the world knowledge of young readers to encourage curiosity, tolerance, and confidence in all children.

In her dream world, she has traveled to every country on the planet, has a private chef to whip up exotic cuisines, and has a courtside seat to every high-profile tennis match. In her real life, she curls up with Nordic noir novels, visits museums around the world, and constantly lightens the mood with a dry joke or two. She lives in the USA with her husband, their two children, and 196 houseplants.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Daniel D Staats for Readers' Favorite

Hao and Sabine are two young children who travel worldwide with their parents, relatives, and a couple of friends. SB Hilarion shares their story in Hao and Sabine Buy the World’s Currencies. On their travels around the globe, Hao and Sabine study the various currencies found in many countries. The author keeps the storyline moving and fills the book with exciting information. While learning about (and buying) the different currencies, the children also learn about culture, history, language, and nature. This is a fascinating book for both young and old. Even for someone who has studied the world and its people, there are things to learn. This book makes learning about so many subjects fun and interesting. Parents can use this book to teach culture, history, geography, and other subjects.

SB Hilarion has written a true page-turner in Hao and Sabine Buy the World’s Currencies. In this book, Hilarion not only entertains but enlightens. Reading this book will introduce you to countries you may never have known existed. The author makes money interesting. Once you read this book, you will never look at money the same way again. This book is designed for young people, but even adults will enjoy it. The volume of knowledge the author disseminates is unbelievable. She shares worldwide knowledge while making it enjoyable. Children will love learning about the animals, history, and culture of each country. The photos of the currencies add great appeal to the book. Read this book and travel the world without leaving the comfort of your own living room.

K.C. Finn

Hao and Sabine Buy the World's Currencies is a work of educational writing in the social, cultural, and learning subgenres, and was penned by author SB Hilarion. The work is intended for the children’s reading audience, and contains, as the title suggests, an introduction to the many different currencies of the world, as well as the countries and cultures they reflect. Our protagonists are the adorable and curious Hao and Sabine, who take readers through many visual references to notes and coins in use in the world today, and what their significance is to the place they come from. What results is a highly engrossing educational adventure that is sure to keep young readers turning the pages from cover to cover.

Author SB Hilarion has crafted a bright, intriguing, and enjoyable work of informative writing with plenty of new ideas on every page to offer its young readers. The brother and sister duo of self-proclaimed ‘philomaths’ who take readers on this journey is utterly inspiring, and would certainly encourage other kids to be as bright and upbeat about knowledge as they are. The work is also very well-formatted and set out in an interesting way, combining story elements with a place-by-place exploration of the different continents of the world, in chapters that are easy to access again. As a Brit I was delighted to see the Scottish and Irish note variants covered with accurate information, making this a wonderfully up-to-date exploration of currency, history, and culture. Overall, I would highly recommend Hao and Sabine Buy the World's Currencies to fans of original mash-ups of encyclopedias and storytelling and for kids interested in cross-cultural learning everywhere.

Kristine Zimmerman

Hao and Sabine, two siblings from Trinidad & Tobago, are back on a new adventure. In Hao and Sabine Buy the World’s Currencies, they travel with their extended family and friends around the globe. SB Hilarion uses Hao and Sabine’s journey around the world to introduce the multiple currencies each country uses, primarily their banknotes with some coins as well. Most of the currencies include photos of the front and back of each note with details about what is depicted. There are also many conversations between the travelers that contain additional information about the food and language of the region. Interspersed throughout are some interesting facts that range from mythology to history to special events.

Even though SB Hilarion has stated this isn’t a complete compendium of the world’s currencies, it contains an enormous amount of information. The few times that currency is not pictured, Anastasiia Turkot’s illustrations do a great job of filling in. I learned a few interesting things along the way. I had no idea that the European Space Agency’s launch site was in French Guiana, because of its location near the equator, among other factors. Another interesting tidbit was the full name of the city commonly referred to as Bangkok, it’s impressively long! Hao and Sabine Buy the World’s Currencies is chock full of information. It is fascinating to see what each country has chosen to put on its currency. All philomaths (seekers of knowledge), young and old, will be able to spend many enjoyable hours perusing Hao and Sabine Buy the World’s Currencies!

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Money is fascinating – not just for its intrinsic value to buy things, but the actual money itself. There are coins and banknotes and every country has its own set of currency. In North America, it’s mostly the dollar system, but there are many places in the world that use a different currency system: England where it’s the pound, Europe where it’s the Euro, and Argentina where it’s the peso, and so on. The interesting thing about each country’s currency is that whether paper or coin, there is something unique that represents the country and/or its history. Countries that support a monarchy usually have the image of their ruler on at least one of the currencies, if not all. Political figures in the country’s history are often represented as are native flowers, birds, animals, and historical landmarks. American currency depicts historic political figures; Canadian currency depicts historic people of interest; Caribbean currency often depicts flowers and hummingbirds; Bermuda currency depicts the beautiful bluebird. And the list goes on.

SB Hilarion’s book, Hao and Sabine Buy the World’s Currencies, explores the currency of the world and the interesting images depicted on the currencies. The author has studied over 260 countries and used color photographs of banknotes, paper currency, and coins that are in current circulation to illustrate the interesting features of each currency. She lists the countries by geographic regions, like Europe, Asia, Antarctica, the Americas, etc, and for each currency, she describes the imagery on both front and back and the significance or historic relevance of each image. She also includes some interesting facts about the images used. For example, in the hummingbird image, she includes a sidebar that reads: “The hummingbird is the only known bird in the world that can fly both forwards and backward as well as side-to-side and upside down.” To which Sabine adds a personal note, "In truth! I've seen it."

Although not a complete guide to the world’s currencies, this is a very inclusive and thorough guide that will inspire young readers to study money from around the world and possibly encourage them to become numismatists, to collect money not just for its monetary value. An excellent resource and an interesting study.