Meet the Author and Illustrator
AUTHOR BECKY PAGE has an extensive background in education, theatre, and finance. She has been a schoolteacher, curriculum writer, and educational administrator, and Page was the founding executive director of the Academy of Finance of Spring Branch Independent School District. She has served as executive director of the SBISD Education Foundation and the Masquerade Theatre Company, as well as interim executive director for the Queensbury Theatre Company. The author also helped establish a fee-only-based financial counseling and trust company. Page participates on many philanthropic boards and is currently the founding executive director of the nonprofit, Financial Knowledge Foundation for Children.
In this book, she has united her lifelong passion for musical theatre with her commitment to educating children about personal finance and the negative impact of bullying. She hopes Miss Money Honey and the Riddle will help introduce young children to the fundamental principles of monetary values, as well as give insight into the damaging effects of bullying. She also hopes that through the actions of her main character, Jimmy, children will learn a simple resolution that enables them to take action against today’s bullying epidemic.
Page has lived all over the country, and now resides in Texas with her husband. The two have four adult children and six grandchildren. When Becky Page is not public speaking or writing, you can find her beside a campfire enjoying nature.
ILLUSTRATOR JAMES BALKOVEK has more than four decades of experience illustrating many educational and children’s books. His career has spanned the fields of advertising illustration, graphic design, trade and children’s illustration, educational publishing and teaching. Currently residing in Indiana with his wife and their menagerie of pets, he enjoys painting, reading, and travel.
ASK THE AUTHOR
What inspired you to write a children’s book about financial basics?
"I taught elementary school in the 1970s, and also worked to initially build a financial planning and trust company during the ‘70s and ‘80s; in addition, I served as founding executive director of the Academy of Finance program in a public school district. Those roles gave me a firsthand look at the lack of financial understanding among multiple family generations and the need for personal finance and money concepts to be taught at all grade levels. I formed a team of business and educational professionals to write a personal finance curriculum that was approved by the state education agency to be considered as an elective high school credit. Then, while helping to form the Academy of Finance curriculum program, I was able to see the success this type of financial education gave our students. In raising my own children, I realized the need for early intervention tools that could provide financial education even on the elementary school level. So, I wrote this first book of the Miss Money Honey series, to help meet that need."
Why did you choose to address bullying with the first book in the series?
"I received my degree in elementary education from the University of Texas at Austin and worked on my master’s in educational administration at the University of Houston. I saw bullying problems even at the earliest grade levels. Once I became the executive director of a public educational foundation, grants were written to raise funding for bullying awareness in my district’s schools. These grants required me to research the impact bullying was having on student test scores and school participation. It became very clear there was a disconnect between parent-teacher awareness and resolutions to stop the negative effects of bullying. And that was before the added danger of social media bullying that is so prevalent today! I feel that with major initiatives on anti-bullying backed by charitable organizations and federal agencies, the statistical proof is now available, and results reveal that bullying at early ages results in: low academic achievement, low school participation, student isolation, student dropout rates, drug abuse, alcoholism among our young, and youth suicide."