The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 9, February 28, 2010, Article 4


Poerio A Griffin in Her Desk A new numismatic book arrived at my doorstep last week. Zee Ann Poerio of Ancient Coins in Education (ACE) sent me a few copies to give away at the next numismatic event for kids in Northern Virginia. I met Zee Ann several years ago in Pittsburgh. She's a teacher and I'd read about her ACE classroom activities in the local newspaper. Later she and her students came and gave a great program on ancient coins to the Coins4Kids group at a Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists show near Pittsburgh.

I was happily surprised to see that the book's author (along with Jamie Clifford) was none other than Zee Ann herself. The book, titled A Griffin in Her Desk is the first in the planned "Mrs. Moneta Coin Story Series."

Co-author Clifford's name was familiar as well - we reviewed his book Double Daggers in an earlier issue of The E-Sylum. But although as E-Sylum editor I'm often among the first to know about a new numismatic book, I opened the cover to learn it had already been reviewed by ANA Governor Scott Rottinghouse, Kerry Wetterstrom, Editor of The Celator, Wayne Sayles of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild and ANS Librarian Elizabeth Hahn, among others.

The Mrs. Moneta series has its own web site, and I'm reprinting several passages below. Congratulations to both authors on a wonderful effort; I hope to read a copy myself before passing it on to a young numismatist.

The authors write:

The idea for the Mrs. Moneta Coin Story Series was inspired by our lifelong interests in classical ancient history, numismatics and the desire to share our passions with kids of all ages. We strongly feel that studying the ancient world can help all of us better understand the world we live in today.

Nothing sparks the imagination of a child's mind more than a tangible link to the past. Children are in awe when they learn that ancient civilizations used coins just as we use them today. A child makes a connection to these coins and discovers the similarities. They are motivated to investigate more, and then they wonder. . . Who owned these tiny pieces of history? What were they used for? Would a child in ancient times save his money to buy a toy like I do today? Through this tiny piece of history, held in the palms of their hands, children learn and they remember.

We hope to provide that tangible link by making available a replica of an ancient coin to coordinate with each book in the series. Our goal is to make ancient history and numismatics fun and exciting. Beginning with the first book in our series, A Griffin In Her Desk, we explore mythological creatures that were minted on ancient Greek coins. Become part of this learning adventure as Mrs. Moneta introduces a friendly Griffin and other wonders of classical Greek mythology.

Kerry Wetterstrom writes:

Mrs. Moneta is the teacher we all dream of having! She makes the classics, ancient history, Greek mythology, and reading fun and educational, with her own magical twist. You and your child will love this book, and find yourselves wanting to learn and read more about the world that is introduced to us by Mrs. Moneta.

Elizabeth Hahn writes:

I loved reading "A Griffin In Her Desk." What a fun story and truly wonderful way to bring ancient history, mythology, and numismatics to life! I especially enjoyed the emphasis on language and your efforts to include a manageable amount of new Latin vocabulary that was effectively scattered (and repeated) throughout the story.

I think you have succeeded in making ancient history and numismatics fun and exciting to a younger audience. I can only say that I am already looking forward to what future adventures will come with Mrs. Moneta and her class!

My book came together with a reproduction Griffin coin, a nice copy of the silver drachm of Thrace, Abdera, circa 386/5-375 B.C. (in the image, it's in a 2x2 glued to the front cover). Again, my congratulations to the authors. I encourage E-Sylum readers everywhere to order copies for their young numismatist friends.

For more information, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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