5 Great Kids Books For Tomorrow’s Tinkerers


Robert Bob Kelly by: Robert Kelly, Senior Vice President, Licensing | May 10, 2018

While everyone in the patent community works towards improvement of the innovation economy—a process that can sometimes seem all-consuming—we should not lose sight of the importance of fostering the next generation of inventors, tinkerers, and innovators. One great way to do that is by introducing the next generation to the joys and pitfalls of inventing.

There are plenty of great children’s books out there, but not many are focused on the trials of being an inventor. Though below you’ll find a few that not only provide intellectual and emotional tools for future inventors, but do so in a way that’s fun for a younger crowd.


What Do You Do With an Idea

by Kobi Yamada

Accolades: National best seller, Washington State Book Award, Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, and gold medal winner of the Independent Publishers Award

Comments: This book is a fantastic story about how an idea is born and developed over time. Like other books by Yamada, the story deals with the emotions of the protagonist throughout the process (e.g., abandon the idea or develop it further) and emphasizes the power of those emotions through compelling illustrations by Mac Besom.


Rosie Revere, Engineer

by Andrea Beaty

Accolades: New York Times bestseller, SCIBA Bestseller, and Parents’ Choice Award

Comments: This is another book that deals with the emotional aspects of being an inventor—something that is often ignored in other children’s books addressing innovation. The book primarily focuses on a young girl overcoming insecurities about her creations (something innovators across all ages deal with).



The Most Magnificent Thing

by Ashley Spires

Accolades: NY Public Library Top 2014 Mighty Girl Books For Younger Readers

Comments: Children often struggle with failure as they start creating on their own, whether it’s building a tower of Lego’s or creating a fort out of boxes. The Most Magnificent Thing shows kids how to confront and overcome those struggles through calm perseverance.



The Book of Mistakes

by Corinna Luyken

Accolades: Goodreads Choice Awards nominee

Comments: Learning that mistakes are opportunities is an important lesson in life—one that many never come to realize. The Book of Mistakes uses a series of drawing mishaps to depict the creation of a grand illustration that was only possible through embracing those initial mistakes.



If I Built a Car

by Chris Van Dusen

Accolades: 2006 E. B. White Read Aloud Award presented by the Association of Booksellers for Children

Comments: If I Built a Car captures the uninhibited creativity that is required to realize revolutionary change. A young boy imagines all the incredible ways that he could improve his father’s car, walking him step-by-step through a tour of his creation.



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