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An Author Joins Us: Devon Kinch of Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop

January 31, 2011

 We’re excited to feature a new children’s book author, designer, and illustrator, Devon Kinch, on this lovely Monday morning!  Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop is her first picture book about a young and creative entrepreneur with lots of big ideas.  It’s the first in a series all about teaching children to develop a sound relationship to money through fun and creative stories.  Today Devon shares her favorite childhood characters and explains how they influenced the creation of Penny.  Enjoy!


I’m nearing the end of my blog tour and I thought I’d use the opportunity to give a proper shout-out to my favorite childhood characters. In one way or another, each of them (if you’re allowed to have more than one) was my “muse” when creating Pretty Penny.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I was a little girl, almost all of my favorite female characters were orphans. Take for example, Pippi Longstocking and Eloise. Pippi had a father, Sea Captain Ephraim Longstocking, but they did not live together. In fact, she lived alone and took care of herself (thank goodness she had superhuman strength to keep her safe). Eloise lived a pampered life at the Plaza with her nanny, but with no parental supervision. Without living under her parent’s rule, she was free to wreak marvelous havoc on the hotel and its patrons. Eloise didn’t have to worry about basic day-to-day survival tasks like Pippi, but she was solely responsible for keeping herself amused  – and at this, she excelled.

When it came to television, my heroines were in a similar boat. Both Punky Brewster and Annie were legitimate orphans. They were scrappy and resourceful little girls with unique personalities and sense of style. They were street-smart and tough.

When creating Pretty Penny, I thought long and hard about her family structure. Will she or won’t she have parents? I wanted her to embody the independent spirit of my childhood heroines, but with the love and support of an adult. So I created Bunny to be her mentor and companion. Bunny provides Penny with the family structure she needs, but steps back to let Penny do her own thing. They spend each summer together, having fabulous adventures that Penny dreams up all on her own.

While I would never suggest that being an orphan is a great way to learn about financial resourcefulness, I do think resurrecting that free-spirited and spunky attitude is a great way to capture the hearts and minds of young girls, and to help them cultivate a sense of personal responsibility. The bottom line is, if Penny can solve her own money problems, anyone can. if you haven’t already you must (must!) check out Pippi, Punky, Annie, and Eloise – my orphan dream team—and I hope you’ll also check out Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop and meet my little financial heroine.

Click here to start at beginning of Devon’s blog tour.  She wraps up tomorrow, Tuesday, February 1st at  You can also check out Pretty Penny’s website to download Penny Project Kits and more!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2011 8:38 pm

    Great post! I love how Devon thought back to her favorite childhood characters to help develope Penny. (I loved Pippi too!)

  2. February 24, 2011 8:39 pm

    Great post! I love how Devon thought back to her favorite childhood characters to help develop Penny. (I loved Pippi too!)

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