Twenty-Two cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank
By Paula Yoo; Illustrated by Jamel Akib
New York : Lee & Low Books Inc., 2014, Grades K-6
Twenty-two cents is a biography on Muhammad Yunus and his
life growing up in Bangladesh. Muhammad was one of the few people in Bangladesh
that was not poor. He eventually moved to United states to attend college and
received degree in economic related fields. Here was much strife in his
homeland, and he would eventually return to Bangladesh. Many poor people in his
country especially women could not receive loans from banks and would have to
ask to get loans from loan sharks. Muhammad devised an idea of the Village Bank
that would give small loans to groups of people so they could take out a loan
together. The bank would have low interest rates so that everyone could pay
back. Muhammad would eventually go on to win a Nobel Peace Prize for his work.
The author's style is very direct and easy to understand. She is very
descriptive, and I could picture most of what she was talking about even without
the illustrations. The book moved along at a good speed, the author paced the
information well. I don't think there was any frivolous section either. Each
page had something of value to the story. Pictures books are short as it is so
there is no need for fluff.
I thought the illustrations were quite good and had to have
been painted. The colors were vibrant, and I thought that the people pictured
were very believable looking. I like that the author and illustrator worked
together because the pictures always went along with the text on the page. I
also liked how each page did not look the same as the last. When books have
receptive pictures in the background I find it to be boring.
I would recommend this book for younger readers that want
more of a challenge in a picture book. For being a picture book, it has a decent
amount of writing per page and was longer then I expected. I would also
recommend this book to anyone that enjoys history because it provides some
information I did not know prior to reading the book. It is always cool to learn
something new from history, and I never really new about the founding of
Bangladesh and the book had some interesting information on the subject.
Review by Mitchell Roth