With the exciting new emphasis on STEM, it’s no wonder that there’s been a surge of STEM books for kids to inspire the engineers of tomorrow. We’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about engineering, so you can dive right in!
We’ve included a range of different books on this list, from children’s books about inventors like Londer Phillips in “Papa’s Mechanical Fish” to story books about engineering like “Rosie Revere Engineer.” Some are books that will help train young minds to the engineering mindset like “What Do You Do With an Idea?” and “The Almost Impossible Thing”. Others focus on teaching specific engineering principles such as “Aerospace Engineering for Babies.” Whatever your tastes, you’re sure to find some of the best STEM books of 2019 on this list, as well as years past.
This list has board, picture and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers, from newborn to ages 2 or 3. Picture books are ideal for toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners and early elementary age children. If you’re looking for books for older elementary (for example engineering books for 10-year-olds) or for middle school, some picture books may still be of interest, but you’re most likely looking for chapter books. You can either view the full list, or filter to a single type of book at a time!
Without further ado, enjoy this engineering list!
Ellie, Engineer - A charming, hilarious illustrated middle grade about a girl who is an engineer—perfect creative, STEM-powered fun for girls who have interests in how things work. “Look out, Junie B. Jones! Ellie the engineer is thinking, making, creating, and showing enthusiasm and brilliance with her creations!” —School Library Connection Ellie is an engineer. With a tool belt strapped over her favorite skirt (who says you can’t wear a dress and have two kinds of screwdrivers handy, just in case?), she invents and builds amazing creations in her backyard workshop. Together with her best friend Kit, Ellie can make anything. As Kit’s birthday nears, Ellie doesn’t know what gift to make until the girls overhear Kit’s mom talking about her present—the dog Kit always wanted! Ellie plans to make an amazing doghouse, but her plans grow so elaborate that she has to enlist help from the neighbor boys and crafty girls, even though the two groups don’t get along. Will Ellie be able to pull off her biggest project yet, all while keeping a secret from Kit? Illustrated with Ellie’s sketches and plans, and including a fun how-to guide to tools, this is a STEM- and friendship-powered story full of fun!
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters - Rosie Revere is no stranger to flops and fails, kerfuffles and catastrophes. After all, she’s an engineer, and engineering is all about perseverance! But sometimes, Rosie has a really important project to tackle—one that feels much bigger than herself. When Rosie’s beloved Aunt Rose and her pals the Raucous Riveters—a gaggle of fun-loving gals who built airplanes during World War II—need her help, it’s up to Rosie to save the day. Will Rosie be able to invent a contraption to help one of the Riveters paint in the annual mural competition? After one flop . . . then another . . . and another . . . Rosie starts to lose hope. But thanks to some help from her classmates Iggy Peck and Ada Twist, Rosie creates the Paintapolooza! and, along with the Riveters, rediscovers the meaning of Home.
Ellie, Engineer: In the Spotlight - Ellie the Engineer is back in a third charming, hilarious, illustrated story filled with creative, STEM-powered fun! “Look out, Junie B. Jones! Ellie the engineer is thinking, making, creating, and showing enthusiasm and brilliance with her creations!” - School Library Connection on Ellie, Engineer Ellie enters a pageant with her best friend Kit, which means lots of glitter, hairspray, and chances to make new friends. After all, Ellie has lots of engineering ideas to help the other girls with their talents, like building a light-up skateboard ramp for Kit! But one contestant, Kit’s not-so-nice pageant rival Melody, makes fun of Ellie’s tool belt and thinks engineering is messy. And when Melody’s rabbit—part of her magic act—goes missing, Ellie knows that she can build a contraption to catch him. But Melody’s comments have made Ellie start to doubt herself—what if a pageant isn’t a place for engineering? With Ellie’s designs and sketches throughout, and her fun guide to electricity and circuits in the back, the continuation of this delightful series will leave young readers laughing and inspired to create.
Want to see books about Female Scientists?
Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe - Magnolia Mudd’s Uncle Jamie is the very BEST grown-up. He always invents cool things with her . . . until the day he and Miss Emily announce their engagement. That’s bad enough—but even worse, Miss Emily wants Magnolia to be a FLOWER GIRL! No way is Magnolia tossing petals. But maybe Uncle Jamie’s new bride-to-be is more fun that Magnolia imagined . . .
Coppernickel, The Invention - “A timeless tale of imagination and friendship that children will be drawn to and enjoy again and again.”—School Library Journal “Pure magic! This is one of those books that I want to buy for every child I know! It is all here: imagination, humor, just a bit of danger, quirky illustrations, and a story line that gives children credit for being bright enough to understand multiple levels of graphic representation.”—Leah van Belle, Of Cabbages and Kings.
Want to see books about imagination and play?
Future Engineer - Flip a switch. Turn a gear. Could Baby be an engineer? Find out in this STEM-themed addition to the Future Baby series! Engineers want to know how things work. And so does Baby! Does Baby have what it takes to become an engineer? That’s a positive! Discover all the incredible ways that prove Baby already has what it takes to become an engineer in whatever field they choose, be it electrical, mechanical, civil, or more! Includes lots of fun engineer facts to help foster curiosity and empower little ones to keep trying . . . and learning! Future Baby is an adorable board book series that takes a playful peek into an assortment of powerful careers and shows little ones how their current skills match up with the job at hand. With Future Baby, babies can be anything!
Neo Leo - Cleverly shows how Leonardo’s ideas foreshadowed modern inventions. At once an artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci wrote and drew detailed descriptions of what would later become hang gliders, automobiles, robots, and much more.
Marvelous Mattie - With her sketchbook labeled My Inventions and her father’s toolbox, Mattie could make almost anything – toys, sleds, and a foot warmer. When she was just twelve years old, Mattie designed a metal guard to prevent shuttles from shooting off textile looms and injuring workers. As an adult, Mattie invented the machine that makes the square-bottom paper bags we still use today. However, in court, a man claimed the invention was his, stating that she “could not possibly understand the mechanical complexities.” Marvelous Mattie proved him wrong, and over the course of her life earned the title of “the Lady Edison.” With charming pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations, this introduction to one of the most prolific female inventors will leave readers inspired.
The Girl with a Mind for Math - Meet Raye Montague—the hidden mastermind who made waves in the U.S. Navy! After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted—finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever. The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague is the third book in a riveting educational series about the inspiring lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you’ll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Montague herself!
Ellie, Engineer: The Next Level - Ellie the Engineer is back in another charming, hilarious, illustrated story filled with creative, STEM-powered fun! “Look out, Junie B. Jones! Ellie the engineer is thinking, making, creating, and showing enthusiasm and brilliance with her creations!” -School Library Connection on Ellie, Engineer After Ellie’s first elevator build goes terribly wrong, her parents decide her “punishment” is to assist an elderly neighbor, Mrs. Curran, around the house. Ellie and her friends Kit and Toby are really only supposed to help with little things, but Ellie can’t turn down the opportunity to use her engineering skills here and there where she sees a need—because that’s what engineers do! It’s no fun, though, when Mrs. Curran always gives Toby the credit for all the ingenious projects, and acts like Kit and Ellie were just helping him. . . . Can Ellie come up with another great build to elevate Mrs. Curran’s ideas about this girl engineer? With Ellie’s designs and sketches throughout, and her fun guide to simple machines in the back, the continuation of this delightful series will leave young readers laughing and inspired to create.
Tinyville Town Gets to Work! - The Tinyville Town series, new from New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Brian Biggs, launches with three books: Tinyville Town Gets to Work!, a world-establishing picture book that introduces the town and its many residents, and two board books, I’m a Veterinarian and I’m a Firefighter. The series is set in a cozy community where the people are kind, everyone says hello when they’re walking down the street, the bus is always on time, and all the townsfolk do their part to keep things running smoothly. Everyone has a job to do in Tinyville Town. With a nod to the busy world of Richard Scarry and the neighborhood feel of Sesame Street, this new series will become a favorite read for preschoolers and is ideal for story time and class discussions about occupations and community helpers. Tinyville Town is a growing, thriving city full of interesting people. The townsfolk can’t wait to show readers around! In Tinyville Town Gets to Work!, we see the evolution of a construction project to solve a problem. When there is a traffic jam on the Tinyville Town bridge, the residents decide to work together to build a new one. By following the hard work of the engineers and construction workers, readers will get to meet many different people in the town while watching the exciting new bridge take shape. The large picture book format and Biggs’s bright art brilliantly show the bridge, which was extensively researched to make it authentic for readers. Every town has a bridge, and a trip over Tinyville’s new one will be fun for kids time and time again.
Want to see books about science and technology?
Amazing Inventions - Did you know that the ancient Egyptians may have used kites to help build their pyramids? That robots have a hard time learning karate? Covering everything from sneakers made of spider silk to glow-in-the dark cats, this amazing collection introduces kids to inventions made from the natural world, inventions created by accident, green inventions, and just-plain-strange inventions. Plus, it offers cool ideas on what the future may hold.
Baby Loves Structural Engineering! - Big, brainy science for the littlest listeners. Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the basics of building—from foundation to rooftop—and ties it all to baby’s world. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!