Symbolism in the Books

Did you notice there are some subtle pictures and symbols throughout the Bea is for Business books? Click on the book title below and learn more about what the pictures, references and symbols are, and next time you read, maybe you'll notice something new!


Bea is for Business

Silver Dollars Soccer Team Jersey

What better name for a silver soccer jersey than the Silver Dollars? Silver coins date back as far as the 15th century, and the first silver dollars were put into use in the United States in 1794. Their designs and patterns changed many times over the years.  Also, note the team's tagline: "We are money !" Now, because of their historical significance, Silver Dollars are a rare find, and their value is WELL over, well... a dollar . They ARE money. 

The Color Green

You'll see the color green a lot throughout the book - Bea's soccer uniform, Hamilton's bandana, Lander's backyard, even the 'Bea' brand/title on the book's cover is green. Why green? Green has always been a color associated with life, hope, new growth, fresh ideas, well-being, respect, and prosperity. These are all things we wish for Bea and every young reader who's inspired by her story. 

Lander's Middle Name - Lincoln 

Lander’s middle name is Lincoln – after Abraham Lincoln . Why? Lincoln’s legacy reverberates through modern U.S. history and economics – from the transcontinental railroad to the Civil War. “The biggest thing was the funds he gave and spent for the American Civil War. His legacy affected the economy post-war," says our friend Jacquelyn McGuire, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Masters in History candidate.

Lander's Bulls & Bears T-Shirt

Look closely at Lander's t-shirt. Do you see the Bull and the Bear? In the financial world, one would refer to a good market as a " Bull Market ", and a poor performing market as a " Bear Market ."

Commerce Street

Bea lives on Commerce Street. Do you know what "commerce" means? It's the activity of buying or selling goods , especially on a large scale (for example: commerce between cities or nations). The United States Commerce Department, a Cabinet department of the U.S. government, is charged with the responsibility of promoting the country's economic growth. The Department of Commerce and Labor has been around since 1903, and it is headquarters in Washington D.C.'s Herbert C. Hoover Building. 

Writing an Idea on a Napkin

Bea does it - and so have plenty of successful business men and women. A great idea hits them instantly, and they just have to write it down - but there's no paper to be found. Thank heavens they are sipping a soda and have a small napkin under their cup. Quickly, they write their idea on the back of that napkin. The result is often the start of something grand.

Keystone Logo (on Lander's Dad's shirt)

The Keystone Bridge Company was started by Andrew Carnegie in 1865. The company built steel, iron, railway parts and road bridge components. Eventually absorbed into the American Bridge Company in 1900, the Keystone Bridge Company was an important piece in spawning progress during the Second Industrial Revolution. Besides all that, the logo of a Keystone (look at Lander's Dad's shirt on page 15) looks great on a business shirt - and don't we see logos all around us?

"Storey Farm" Festival

In the book, Lander and Bea go to the "Storey Farm Festival" to sell their flowers. The name "Storey Farm" actually has a rich history (also sometimes referred to as "Story Farm"). The Storey Farm was the name of the original plot of land where Columbia Oil began operations (one of Andrew Carnegie's first investments). Carnegie had invested $40,000 in Storey Farm (in Venango County, PA), and in one year, the farm produced more than $1,000,000 in cash dividends from petroleum oil wells on the property. That was just the beginning of a long, successful business career for Mr. Carnegie.

Learn more below:

 http://www.petroleumhistory.org/OilHistory/pages/Columbia/Columbia.html

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Carnegie

The Language of Flowers

Back in the Victorian Age, people couldn't easily communicate via cell phones or email or texting. So they found other ways of communicating. One such way was through sending something special to someone - flowers would be a good example. In Bea is for Business, the specific flowers that Bea and Lander turn into bouquets are all chosen because of their "business-like" meanings. Take a look at the key below:

  • Red Clover (red): Industry
  • Mignonettes (white): Worth
  • Chrysanthemum (purple): Abundance/Wealth
  • Tiger Lilly (orange): Wealth/Prosperity
  • Yellow Poppy (yellow): Wealth/Success

Black Friday 

Nigel's new, super-fast scooter is named Black Friday. That reference is a nod to the most celebrated (and wildest!) shopping day of the year, the day after Thanksgiving, as it kicks off the holiday shopping season. It's said that the name "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in the 1960's, after reports of thick vehicle and pedestrian traffic the day after Thanksgiving. But, it's also a nod to the financial crisis of 1869 which got started when the market crashed in an attempt to corner the gold market. Regardless, Nigel's appearance on his new, super-fast Black Friday, can only mean one thing - trouble. 

Nigel's Blue Blazer 

It's the middle of summer, and Nigel wears a blue blazer. Pretty crazy, right? Well, Nigel's blue blazer is a shout-out to the tradition and history of the blue blazer as a staple of professional attire that's one step down from a suit. Though the blazer's past harkens all the way back to the Royal Navy of the 1830's, Nigel made a choice to wear it more casually here with khaki shorts. Along those lines, you'll see he's always wearing a white-collared shirt. 

Food Trucks

When Bea, Lander, and Bea's Mom go to the Storey Farm Festival, they see food trucks all around. The American mobile eatery we know today as "food trucks" are actually a throwback to the American West - when Texas cattleman, Charles Goodnight, needed to serve food to cattlemen via a "chuckwagon".

Bea's Mom's 'Tote Quote'

Bea's mom is carrying a tote with her to the Storey Farm Festival. Look closely. Do you see there's a quote on it? The bag reads:

"Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!" -Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

What's with all the Andrew Carnegie symbolism? Well, for starters, both Meg and Jamie (the authors) are from Pittsburgh, PA - the hometown of Carnegie. So, it is a nod to their upbringing. But besides that, Andrew Carnegie is easily one of the most successful business men in America's history - making him a wonderful role model and historical figure to study as you learn more about business. Beginning his life in poverty, Carnegie later became one of the richest men in the world. As his life came to an end, Carnegie invested in charitable causes including hospitals, schools, funds and other non profits. 

Learn more about Andrew Carnegie here:
http://carnegie.org/about-us/foundation-history/about-andrew-carnegie/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carnegie/

http://www.history.com/topics/andrew-carnegie  

Hamilton - Bea's Dog

Bea's dog's name is Hamilton - after Alexander Hamilton - a famous historical figure in U.S. financial and polical history. Alexander Hamilton was notable for many contributions to U.S. history including:

  • First Secretary of the Treasury in the U.S. (1789-1795)

  • Helped found the Bank of New York

  • Major contributor to the Federalist Papers (he wrote 51 of 85 essays)

Learn more here:
http://www.biography.com/people/alexander-hamilton-9326481?page=1 

Bessemer Victory

Did you notice anything about the wagon that Lander is pulling? It has a name on it: Bessemer Victory. The Bessemer Victory was an old shipping vessel built during World War II. Interesting history note: Sir Henry Bessemer was an inventor of a steel manufacturing process. (photo source:  http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=1407312) 

Bessemer Victory

Bea is for Business: The Party-Planning Venture

Korat Cat

Makayla’s cat is sitting next to her on the porch. But this isn’t just any cat. This is a Korat cat - with a silvery blue fur known that in many cultures symbolizes wealth or even good luck.

Parties for Kids

Parties for Kids (aka P.F.K.) was one of the first businesses started by one of the authors when she was a young child. We hope this helps parents see that the innovation and entrepreneurial ventures your children do when they are young, can really stay with them and help shape them as they grow into contributing adults.

The Gazette

You’ll see a lot of references to Pittsburgh, PA throughout the Bea is for Business books - and that’s because both authors grew up in the Steel City. The name of the newspaper in review on the tablet was chosen in reference to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Three Rivers Water Supply

Bea scrubs her arm at a water fountain with the metal backsplash touting the name “Three Rivers Water Supply”. This is a reference to the authors’ hometown: Pittsburgh, PA. The three rivers in Pittsburgh that meet at “the Point” are the Ohio, Monongahela and the Allegheny Rivers.

The Color Green 

You'll see the color green a lot throughout our books - Bea's clothes (from her scarf to her superhero cape!), our logo, the mint cookies on page 25. Why green? Green has always been a color associated with life, hope, new growth, fresh ideas, well-being, respect, and prosperity. These are all things we wish for Bea and every young reader who's inspired by her story. 

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was a true renaissance man and pulled together an amazing life contributing to the arts, mathematics, science and more broadly, innovation. With Bea being an artist, who also thrives in math - we pulled a historical reference in on pages 21 and 22 to represent the subjects that Bea loves.

Mint Cookies

Bea is a business girl, and she loves all things green - including mint cookies! On the counter in one scene, is a box of mint cookies - a symbol in this book of minting money. Want to learn more about how money is minted?

Check this out: https://www.usmint.gov/kids/coinNews/mintingProcess/

Lander’s Bulls & Bears t-shirt

Look closely at Lander's t-shirt. Do you see the Bull and the Bear? In the financial world, one would refer to a good market as a " Bull Market ", and a poor performing market as a "Bear Market."

Maura

We love hearing from our fans, and one of our biggest fans is our new friend, Maura. That’s why she got a shot out on page 27. She inspired us as we worked to finish our second book!

Big Data

Nigel refers to his tablet as “Big Data” - and while it is meant to be a humorous reference, Big Data is an important term for kids and adults alike to know. Big Data refers to extremely large data sets that are so gigantic and intricate that it is difficult to simply use on-hand management tools or traditional applications. Big Data is challenging for a number of reasons including storage, capture, curation, sharing, transfer, analysis and more.

Being that Makayla and Bea conduct their own market research to look for trends, “Big Data” was a perfect name for Nigel’s tablet.

Market Square

Market Square is a historic area in Pittsburgh with roots dating back to 1784. It eventually became Pittsburgh’s first historic district, and it is now a popular area in the city, for dining, entertainment, tourism and shopping.

Learn more here: http://www.downtownpittsburgh.com/play/market-square/history