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Today in late capitalism: Here is a coloring book that teaches children about credit.

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February 23, 2021, 11:10am

Can you think of a single feel-good news story from the past five years that isn’t, at its core, an indictment of the society in which we live? Here at Lit Hub, one of our most-read stories last year was “Big-hearted strangers turn Little Free Libraries into Little Free Pantries.” While I don’t think it’s foolish to highlight stories that depict small-scale human kindnesses, they always remind me of the large-scale systemic cruelties under which we live.

So it is with the story, published in Romper, of a mom and former fifth grade teacher who created two coloring books—Credit Is King, Kareem, and Credit Is Queen, Charlene—to help kids understand credit. I mean no disrespect to the books’ creator, Kishanna Heyward, who created the books after she couldn’t find resources on the internet to help her explain to her daughter what credit even was. Heyward is absolutely right that everyone in the capitalist hellstate that is the US would be well served to learn about credit—but the truth of that remains unbearably sad.

The coloring books include fun, educational activities such as a multiplication search, a credit maze, and reflection questions about credit. You’ll also find references about the three main credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — as well as scenarios about FICO scores.

Financial literacy is important. I honestly hope these books give the kids that read them a stronger of credit. I also wish we didn’t live in a society that required kids to learn about fucking Equifax. Or rely on big-hearted strangers in order to eat. Or forgo college to help their mothers keep their homes. Or ask strangers on the internet for money to help pay for their insulin.

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