Isabel’s Car Wash

The Nelly Longhair doll, the object of Isabel’s desire, is on sale at Murphy’s Toys for ten dollars. But Isabel has only fifty cents. Isabel decides to start a car wash business; she’s sure she can make money. But at the hardware store she learns that her supplies will cost five dollars! She thinks long and hard and comes up with a plan. If five of her friends will give her one dollar each, she’ll have enough. She tells her friends she’ll work very hard and believes she’ll be able to pay them back, plus extra. Her friends agree. Will Isabel be able pay them back and have enough left over for the Nelly doll?

  • 32 Pages
  • 8" x 10"
  • 9780807536537
  • September 2011

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807592885
  • March 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • Today, with children growing up in a complex global economy, it’s never too early to teach them about the value of saving and investing. Isabel’s simple story about risk and reward takes an intimidating topic and makes it accessible and fun for the next generation of investors. Sheila Bair has done parents, and all of us in the financial literacy field, a valuable service with this book.

    - Mary L. Schapiro, CEO, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and Chairman of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation

  • This title is a great introduction to the economic prinicples of business loans and could be applied to concepts of stocks and the stock market.

    - Library Media Connection

  • This vividly illustrated picture book serves as math incentive, good story, and business primer.

    - Children's Literature

Awards & Accolades

  • EIFLE Award 2009, Institute for Financial Literacy
  • Rutgers University, Project on Economics and Children - Book of the Month January 2009


Common Core

RL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9 RL.2.1,2,3,5,6,7,10 RL.3.1,2,3,4,6,7,10 M.2.MD.C.8


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 4.20