A young Chinese girl sees the perfect Christmas gift for herself and her mother - a giant stuffed bear. Because it is too expensive, she decides to save up money and put it in her "money vase." She begins selling almond cookies, but still doesn't earn enough to purchase the bear. In the end her mother helps her to see a special gift that the young girl has always had.

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Saving, Scarcity, Price.

Comprehension Questions

What was the scarcity problem facing Mei-Mei?

She wanted to buy a stuffed bear, but didn't have enough money. She had a scarcity of money/income.

Is the stuffed bear an example of a good or service?


What did Mei-Mei decide to do to solve her scarcity problem?

She decided to earn and save more money until she had enough to purchase the bear.

How did she plan to earn more money?

She decided to sell the almond cookies she earned by doing small jobs around Mrs. Wong's restaurant.

What price did she choose for her cookies?


Why didn't she charge $1.50 or $1.00 as she originally wanted?

$1.50 was more than Mrs. Wong's restaurant price! $1.00 was the same price as the restaurant and therefore really wasn't a sale price for customers.

How much did Mei-Mei put into her savings vase by selling her almond cookies?

10 X $.90 = $9.00

The night before Christmas, did Mei-Mei have enough saved to purchase the bear?

No, she had $25.68 saved, but that still wasn't enough.

What did her Mother tell Mei-Mei to ease her unhappiness about not being able to purchase the bear?

That Mei-Mei had the warm love of her Mother all the time - even without a stuffed bear.

Author: Chyng Feng Sun

Accelerated Reader Level/Points: .5

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company