Inventions: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about inventions?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to inventions. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about inventions.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about inventions, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Invention of Hugo Cabret to popular sellers like Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator to some of our favorite hidden gems like Rosie Revere, Engineer.

We hope this list of kids books about inventions can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Inventions

Rosie Revere, Engineer book
#1
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion. Ada Twist, Scientist, the companion picture book featuring the next kid from Iggy Peck’s class, is available in September 2016.

Albie Newton book
#2
Albie Newton
Written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Ester Garay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Meet Albie Newton: child genius. But when this whiz of an inventor enters a new preschool, his perfect plan for making friends turns into a disaster: he steals the hamster’s wheel, snatches the wings off a toy airplane, and generally creates a giant mess. Now everyone’s angry! Will his new invention delight the other kids enough to make everything right—and win their friendship?

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life book
#3
Hedy Lamarr's Double Life
Written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor. Now Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu, who collaborated on Sterling’s critically acclaimed picture-book biography Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, tell the inspiring story of how, during World War Two, Lamarr developed a groundbreaking communications system that still remains essential to the security of today’s technology.

This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer book
#4
This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about scientists who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for inventors-in-training! Asking why. Then making a guess. Asking how. Then proving with tests. Little scientists make great big discoveries. In this follow up to This Little President, This Little Explorer, and This Little Trailblazer now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering scientists in history! Highlighting ten memorable scientists who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this discovery primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

The Dreamer book
#5
The Dreamer
Written and illustrated by Il Sung Na
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Once, there was a pig who admired birds. But he could never join them. Or could he? Thus begins the journey of a pig with big dreams, and the perseverance to make them come true. He develops flight plans, builds experimental contraptions, and has far-flung adventures, but at the end of the day, his favorite thing to do is still to sit and watch for those he loves best: the birds. Il Sung Na creates a world at once whimsical and aspirational, where anything is possible and, yes, even pigs can learn to fly.

Norton and Alpha book
#6
Norton and Alpha
Written and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7

Battered wheels, rusty cogs, broken springs: Norton, an adorable robot, collects this junk and uses it to create amazing inventions. But one day he and his dog Alpha find something they ve never seen before: a flower! At first, they re baffled . . . but when a seed blossoms into a flowery field, the two discover the true magic of nature. Includes a big, stunning gatefold!”

Just Like Rube Goldberg book
#7
Just Like Rube Goldberg
Written by Sarah Aronson and illustrated by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Discover how Rube Goldberg followed his dreams to become an award-winning cartoonist, inventor, and even an adjective in the dictionary in this inspiring and funny biographical picture book.

Want to become an award-winning cartoonist and inventor? Follow your dreams, just like Rube Goldberg! From a young age, Rube Goldberg had a talent for art. But his father, a German immigrant, wanted Rube to have a secure job. So, Rube went to college and became an engineer.

But Rube didn’t want to spend his life mapping sewer pipes. He wanted to follow his passion, so Rube got a low-level job at a newspaper, and from there, he worked his way up, creating cartoons that made people laugh and tickled the imagination. He became known for his fantastic Rube Goldberg machines—complicated contraptions with many parts that performed a simple task in an elaborate and farfetched way. Eventually, his cartoons earned him a Pulitzer Prize and his own adjective in the dictionary. This moving biography is sure to encourage young artists and inventors to pursue their passions.

Papa's Mechanical Fish book
#8
Papa's Mechanical Fish
Written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the summer of 1851, with encouragement and ideas provided by his family, an inventor builds a working submarine and takes his family for a ride. Includes notes about Lodner Phillips, the real inventor on whom the story is based.

Mary Had a Little Lab book
#9
Mary Had a Little Lab
Written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Petros Bouloubasis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Mary is an enterprising young inventor. She wants a pet, but it isn’t one she can easily buy…so she makes one with the Sheepinator! Mary’s pet sheep and her new invention make her popular with her classmates. But when she starts making sheep for her new friends, things go hilariously awry. Can Mary invent a way to fix this mess?

Camp Hero Double Trouble book
#10
Camp Hero Double Trouble
Written by Gina Bellisario and illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

Ellie is excited to go to Camp Hero, where the motto is: Where Super Friendships are Made! But when Ellie’s cabinmates, superhero twins Mona and Leona, give her the cold shoulder, Ellie decides to use her parents’ latest invention to get them to like her. The invention works too well, and the twins start fighting over Ellie! Can Ellie stop their double trouble and find out why they weren’t friendly to her in the first place?

Table of Contents
Jump to books about Inventions and...

Books About Inventions and Female Scientists

Rosie Revere, Engineer book
#1
Rosie Revere, Engineer
Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion. Ada Twist, Scientist, the companion picture book featuring the next kid from Iggy Peck’s class, is available in September 2016.

Hedy Lamarr's Double Life book
#2
Hedy Lamarr's Double Life
Written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor. Now Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu, who collaborated on Sterling’s critically acclaimed picture-book biography Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, tell the inspiring story of how, during World War Two, Lamarr developed a groundbreaking communications system that still remains essential to the security of today’s technology.

This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer book
#3
This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about scientists who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for inventors-in-training! Asking why. Then making a guess. Asking how. Then proving with tests. Little scientists make great big discoveries. In this follow up to This Little President, This Little Explorer, and This Little Trailblazer now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering scientists in history! Highlighting ten memorable scientists who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this discovery primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mary Had a Little Lab - Mary is an enterprising young inventor. She wants a pet, but it isn’t one she can easily buy…so she makes one with the Sheepinator! Mary’s pet sheep and her new invention make her popular with her classmates. But when she starts making sheep for her new friends, things go hilariously awry. Can Mary invent a way to fix this mess?

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. Professor McQuark and the Oojamaflip - One day a fantastic idea pops into Professor McQuark’s head to create an ‘Oojamaflip’ but what is one and will it win her first prize at the town science fair? A fast-paced, rhyming tale superbly written by first-time author Lou Treleaven and illustrated by the talented Julia Patton.

Want to see more children's books about Female Scientists?

Books About Inventions and Engineering

Albie Newton book
#1
Albie Newton
Written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Ester Garay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Meet Albie Newton: child genius. But when this whiz of an inventor enters a new preschool, his perfect plan for making friends turns into a disaster: he steals the hamster’s wheel, snatches the wings off a toy airplane, and generally creates a giant mess. Now everyone’s angry! Will his new invention delight the other kids enough to make everything right—and win their friendship?

Papa's Mechanical Fish book
#2
Papa's Mechanical Fish
Written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Boris Kulikov
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the summer of 1851, with encouragement and ideas provided by his family, an inventor builds a working submarine and takes his family for a ride. Includes notes about Lodner Phillips, the real inventor on whom the story is based.

Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Engineering book
#3
Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of Engineering
Written by Bob Cooper and illustrated by Greg Paprocki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An introductory primer for kids focusing on the “E” portion of “STEAM” engineering. With original Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci as inspiration, this exciting new volume in the Little Leonardo series introduces kids to many of the different types of engineering they can aspire to. Littles will learn how nine types of engineers design and build all sorts of things, from the tiny microcircuitry in your smartphone to large projects like dams and bridges that transform the very face of the planet. Part of the Little Leonardo’s Fascinating World Series. Greg Paprocki works full-time as an illustrator and book designer. He has illustrated several Curious George books, as well as the BabyLit alphabet books and The Big Book of Superheroes. Bob Cooper is a veteran editor whose twenty-year career has found him working on everything from comic books to art, architecture, and children’s titles.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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 . . .

  2. Rube Goldberg's Simple Normal Humdrum School Day - If Rube’s inventions are any indication, “normal” means something very different in the Goldberg household. For Rube, up is down, in is out, and the simplest path to accomplishing an everyday task—like brushing his teeth or getting dressed—is a humorously complicated one. Follow Rube as he sets out on a typical school day, overcomplicating each and every step from the time he wakes up in the morning until the time he goes to bed at night. This book features fourteen inventions, each depicting an interactive sequence whose purpose is to help Rube accomplish mundane daily tasks: a simple way to get ready for school, to make breakfast, to do his homework, and so much more.

Want to see more children's books about engineering?

Books About Inventions and Science

Ellie, Engineer: In the Spotlight book
#1
Ellie, Engineer: In the Spotlight
Written by Jackson Pearce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

Melia and Jo book
#2
Melia and Jo
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Melia is scientific and loves to create things in her backyard laboratory, but something is missing. Her inventions just aren’t quite right. Enter Jo, her new friend with an artistic spirit. When you add the arts to sciences, something magical happens! This whimsically illustrated picture book is the perfect introduction to the benefits of STEAM-focused curriculum.

Manfish book
#3
Manfish
Written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Eric Puybaret
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Poetic text and full color paintings combine to create a portrait of the internationally known oceanographer as a curious little boy whose love of the ocean inspired him to grow up to become a champion of the seas.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Leonardo Da Vinci - Why could Leonardo da Vinci paint the human form so accurately, in all its beauty? How was he educated and trained as an artist? What inspired his most famous work, including The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa? And what fun machine did he invent? Find out about this unique artist and the many areas, from architecture to flight, he drew on and influenced.

  2. How to Become an Accidental Genius - Don’t be afraid to try! Make connections! Be persistent! Ask questions and never take no for an answer! Learn the secrets and amazing stories of successful inventors! How to Become an Accidental Genius is full of inspiring tales of famous and lesserknown inventors who have changed the world, from George Washington Carver, Mary Anderson (inventor of the windshield wiper) and inventor and actress Hedy Lamarr to Frank Epperson (of Popsicle fame) and Mary Sherman Morgan (The Woman Who Saved the U.S. Space Race). Readers will be amazed at the inventiveness of these geniuses. The book focuses on inventors from North America but includes stories from around the world. Organized into eleven chapters that highlight the qualities inventors have in common, the book also features profiles of inventive kids and teenagers.

  3. Albert Einstein - Join Albert Einstein on his journey of scientific discovery and see how the Nobel Prize winner forever changed how we think about energy, gravity, and the world around us. Kids will learn about Einstein’s training, his struggle to find a teaching job, and how he developed his theory of relativity. The book also looks at his personal life, including his family, emigration to America, and love of music.

  4. A Dream of Flight - Years before the invention of the modern airplane, Alberto Santos-Dumont dreamed of flying. As a boy, he was mesmerized by the machinery on his father’s coffee plantation in Brazil and went on to study science and engineering in France. Soon his groundbreaking—and sometimes silly—inventions became the talk of Paris, especially after he set his sights on building an airship that could bring the world’s people together. His small stature and big ideas earned him the nickname “Le Petite Santos.” This is the story of Santos’s successful race for the Deutsche Prize, and his many failures along the way. Chock-full of cool diagrams, charming Parisian scenes, and graphic novel-style spot illustrations, A Dream of Flight will have young readers looking to the sky and scheming up their own aerial inventions.

Want to see 15 more children's books about inventions and science?

How about children's books about science?

Books About Inventions and Robots

Norton and Alpha book
#1
Norton and Alpha
Written and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7

Battered wheels, rusty cogs, broken springs: Norton, an adorable robot, collects this junk and uses it to create amazing inventions. But one day he and his dog Alpha find something they ve never seen before: a flower! At first, they re baffled . . . but when a seed blossoms into a flowery field, the two discover the true magic of nature. Includes a big, stunning gatefold!”

The Robot Book book
#2
The Robot Book
Written and illustrated by Heather Brown
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Richly illustrated, interactive book answers the question: “What makes a robot tick?â€

This robot has two eyes, two arms, and two legs, but what really makes him tick? Inside The Robot Book, Heather Brown answers that question within an interactive story that features actual working—and moving—parts. Gears and cogs are mounted on each illustration to keep little fingers and imaginations engaged.

While the junior engineer is tinkering away, parents will also be charmed by the story’s warm text, which reveals the true secret behind what makes our robot tick. Here’s a little hint: It isn’t a gear, or bolt, or some other mechanical part, it’s what’s in his heart that counts the most. Perfect for year-round gift-giving, the book will be packaged inside a protective poly-bag.

My Teacher Is a Robot book
#3
My Teacher Is a Robot
Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Jedi Academy books comes an imaginative picture book about a kid whose creative outlook has everyone at school seeing the world through new eyes. Perfect for fans of The Adventures of Beekle and The Most Magnificent Thing. Fred does not want to go to school because it’s boring. Especially since he thinks his teacher is a robot. If only Fred could imagine a way for his day to be more exciting… An inventively funny picture book that celebrates the boundlessness of a child’s imagination and celebrates the teachers, families, and friends who get wrapped up in their fantastic worlds.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Runaway Robot - Harry’s latest invention—a Superhero Robot programmed to do chores—malfunctions, and the robot goes out of control, creating chaos at school.

  2. Wendel and the Robots - Wendel is a very clever mouse—but not a very tidy one. If his inventions go wrong, Wendel just throws them away and starts again. So when Clunk, his robot assistant, fills the sock drawer with cups and saucers and makes tea in a boot, Wendel throws him on the scrapheap and makes himself a new assistant: the Wendelbot. But he gets more than he bargained for, and soon Wendel finds himself on the scrapheap. Can he win back his workshop from the mighty Wendelbot? Let the robot battle commence! Wendel and the Robots is a wonderfully funny, action-packed story full of surprises and extraordinary inventions, and with a subtle environmental message.

  3. Can You Find My Robot's Arm? - Robot has lost his arm — can you help him find a new one? Step into a charming mechanical world invented by a striking new picture book artist. One morning, a robot wakes up to find he is missing an arm. He and his robo buddy search inside and outside the house, through a garden, an amusement park, a library and even a candy shop, but it’s nowhere to be found. Where can the arm be, and what might make a suitable replacement? A lollipop? A fish bone? How about a fork? Can You Find My Robot’s Arm? humorously invites children to explore the beautiful and intricate hand-cut images of Chihiro Takeuchi.

Want to see more children's books about robots?

Books About Inventions and Friendship

Camp Hero Double Trouble book
#1
Camp Hero Double Trouble
Written by Gina Bellisario and illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

Ellie is excited to go to Camp Hero, where the motto is: Where Super Friendships are Made! But when Ellie’s cabinmates, superhero twins Mona and Leona, give her the cold shoulder, Ellie decides to use her parents’ latest invention to get them to like her. The invention works too well, and the twins start fighting over Ellie! Can Ellie stop their double trouble and find out why they weren’t friendly to her in the first place?

Edison book
#2
Edison
Written by Torben Kuhlmann
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Award-winning illustrator Torben Kuhlmann’s stunning new book transports readers to new depths where imagination lights the way! A long time ago, one mouse learned to fly, another landed on the moon…what will happen in the next Mouse adventure? From the creator of Lindbergh—The Tale of a Flying Mouse and Armstrong, comes Edison—The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure. When two unlikely friends build a vessel capable of taking them to the bottom of the ocean find a missing treasure—the truth turns out to be far more amazing.

Mr. Biddles book
#3
Mr. Biddles
Written and illustrated by Kristine A Lombardi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A funny picture book about friendship, in the tradition of Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad. Mr. Biddles is a cat inventor, and Hobson is a lobster that is left on his front porch. An odd pair indeed, but when Hobson joins Biddles in the lab (where he invented not only his catnip diffuser but also his automatic mail retriever!), they discover that Hobson has a gift: two super-useful claws. Mr. Biddles always needed help in the lab, but he hadn’t known how much until Hobson came along. The two enjoy one another’s company and work well side by side, but one day, Hobson begins to miss home. Biddles badly wants to invent a way to get his friend home safely. But how? Hobson is from the faraway coast, and can travel only in five gallons of water! Kristine A. Lombardi meticulously created convincing worlds for both Mr. Biddles and Hobson using collaged ephemera from years of collecting old receipts, postcards, photos, diner bills, business cards, blueprints, and everything else you can think of!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Snazzy Cat Capers - “I want to be Ophelia when I grow up!! And I want Oscar to be my BFF—Best Fishy Friend! Snazzy Cat Capers is fabulous, funny and fin-tastic fun with illustrations that pounce off the page.” —Mo O’Hara, New York Times bestselling author of the My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series Life is short. Diamonds are fur-ever. Internationally famous cat burglar Ophelia von Hairball V adores jewels—the only thing she loves more is a challenge. She’s never met a safe she couldn’t crack. Now the Furry Feline Burglary Institute (FFBI) offers her the ultimate caper: steal the giant Himalayan diamond and win their top award! There’s a catch! The FFBI sends an enthusiastic inventor to help Ophelia…but this cat works alone, and Oscar Fishgerald Gold smells fishy. Can the smartest, stealthiest, and snazziest of cats learn to work with a fintastic sidekick and prove she’s still the world’s most purr-fect burglar? Adventure, heists, and teamwork abound in this fun, witty middle grade read brimming with cat-tastic black-and-white illustrations. Includes graphic novel-style pages! An Imprint Book “Classy bad girl Ophelia is as funny as she is furry…she’s the pussycat love child of James Bond and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and who can’t love that?” —Kirkus Reviews

  2. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator - From the bestselling author of Matilda and The BFG! Last seen flying through the sky in a giant elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie Bucket’s back for another adventure. When the giant elevator picks up speed, Charlie, Willy Wonka, and the gang are sent hurtling through space and time. Visiting the world’’ first space hotel, battling the dreaded Vermicious Knids, and saving the world are only a few stops along this remarkable, intergalactic joyride.

Want to see more children's books about friendship?

Books About Inventions and Adventure

The Invention of Hugo Cabret book
#1
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Written by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

The Mysterious Sea book
#2
The Mysterious Sea
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Prince Donal likes inventing things—the weirder the better. All of his inventions are practical, but some of them are a bit odd. Still, they come in handy when Donal and his three best friends set out to explore the area around the Waveborn Islands. Many centuries ago, someone built the fantastic machines that allows the Waveborn Islands to rise or fall back into the sea. Donal would give anything to study any records those people left behind. Fortunately, the first uncharted island they find seems to be filled with relics of that ancient people. Unfortunately, Donal and the other prince and princesses aren’t the first ones to find the island. But if they trigger the island’s booby traps, they just might be the last.

Flying Deep Climb Inside Deep Sea Submersible ALVIN book
#3
Flying Deep Climb Inside Deep Sea Submersible ALVIN
Written by Michelle A. Cusolito and illustrated by Nicole Wong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Climb aboard Alvin, the famous deep-sea submersible credited with helping to find the Titanic, and take a trip two miles down to the bottom of the ocean. Experience a day in the life of an Alvin pilot, diving two miles down to explore the seafloor, collect samples, and conduct research. Along the way, discover what one wears, eats, and talks about during a typical eight-hour trip in a underwater craft, and find out more about the animals that live deep in our oceans.

In expressive, poetic language and gorgeous illustrations, the mysteries of the deep sea are revealed. Backmatter includes an author’s note about researching this book, a glossary, and suggested further reading.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Remarkable Inventions Of Walter Mortinson - In this sweeping and inventive debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman, and Tim Burton, a prodigal inventor flees his home to find his destiny. In the humdrum town of Moormouth, Walter Mortinson’s unusual inventions cause nothing but trouble. After one of his contraptions throws the town into chaos, Walter’s mother demands he cut the nonsense and join the family mortuary business. Far off on Flaster Isle, famed inventor Horace Flasterborn plans to take Walter under his wing, just as he did Walter’s genius father decades ago. When a letter arrives by unusual means offering Walter an apprenticeship, it isn’t long before Walter decides to flee Moormouth to meet his destiny. Walter runs away in the family hearse along with Cordelia, the moody girl next door with one eye and plenty of secrets. Together they journey through a strange landscape of fish-people, giantess miners, and hypnotized honeybees in an adventure that will not only reveal the truth about Walter’s past, but direct his future.

  2. Gastronauts - Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, has an extraordinary new challenge. The brain-enhancing nanobots she is testing have been accidentally swallowed by her baby brother Joe. The only way to stop Joe turning into a superbaby and wreaking super havoc is to shrink herself and travel inside Joe’s body on a journey to tackle the problem head-on. What could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, this is only the beginning …

  3. How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens - This is an out-of-this-world funny first book in a madcap, illustrated adventure series from New Yorker cartoonist Paul Noth. Happy Conklin Jr. is the only 10-year-old who has to shave three times a day. Hap’s dad is a brilliant inventor of screwball products, and being a Conklin kid means sometimes being experimented on. So Hap has his beard, and his five sisters each have their own unique—and often problematic—qualities too. And although Hap’s dad has made a fortune with his wacky inventions sold via nonstop TV infomercials, all of that money has gone to Hap’s tyrannical Grandma. While she lives in an enormous mansion, the rest of the family lives in two rooms in the basement. All Hap has ever wanted is to have a normal life, so when he sees a chance to get rid of Grandma, he takes it! He only means to swap out Grandma, but when he—oops!—sells his whole family to the aliens, he wants nothing more than to get them back. He just has to figure out . . . how?

  4. The Bone Snatcher - Sophie Seacove is a storyteller. She tells stories of what the world would be like if madness hadn’t taken over. If her parents hadn’t sold her off as a servant to pay for their passage out of London. If she wasn’t now trapped in a decaying mansion filled with creepy people and surrounded by ravenous sea monsters. The mansion has plenty of stories, too: About fantastical machines, and the tragic inventor who created them. About his highly suspicious death. And about the Monster Box, a mysterious object hidden in the house that just might hold the key to escaping this horrible place—and to reuniting Sophie with her family. But not everyone wants Sophie to have the Monster Box, and as she gets closer to finding it, she finds herself unspooling years-old secrets—and dodging dangerous attacks. Sophie needs to use her brains, her brawn, and her unbreakable nature if she wants to make it off this wretched island…and live to tell this story.

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Books About Inventions and Historical Figures

I Am Albert Einstein book
#1
I Am Albert Einstein
Written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Presents the life of the world-renowned German scientist, describing how his life-long curiosity and ability to question accepted theories led him to develop his famous theory of relatvitiy and win the Noble Prize for Physics.

Electric Ben book
#2
Electric Ben
Written and illustrated by Robert Byrd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A true Renaissance man, Benjamin Franklin was the first American celebrity. In pictures and text, master artist Robert Byrd documents Franklin’s numerous and diverse accomplishments, from framing the Constitution to creating bifocals. The witty, wise, and endlessly curious Franklin is the perfect subject for Byrd’s lively style and vibrant art. The pages pulse with facts, quotes, and captions, while the inventive design and intricately detailed illustrations make a striking tribute to the brilliant American.

Inventors Who Changed the World book
#3
Inventors Who Changed the World
Written by Heidi Poelman and illustrated by Kyle Kershner
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the ranging curiosity of Leonardo da Vinci to the dedication and sacrifice of Marie Curie, Little Heroes: Inventors Who Changed the World is a young child’s first introduction to the brilliant people who taught us the meaning of perseverance and innovation. Simple text and adorable illustrations tell the contributions of nine renowned inventors from around the world: Cai Lun, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Grace Hopper, Mary Sherman Morgan, and Nikola Tesla. Inspire your own little inventor with the words of these inventive heroes who changed the world.

Honorable Mentions
  1. When Bill Gates Memorized an Encyclopedia - Bill Gates is known as the richest man in the world. But do you know what he was like as a child? From selling peanuts to memorizing entire encyclopedias, Bill used his brain. This playful story of his childhood will help young readers connect with a historic figure and will inspire them to want to achieve greatness.

  2. Marie Curie - Celebrated author and artist Demi beautifully portrays the life and story of Marie Curie, the revolutionary scientist and winner of two Nobel Prizes. Maria Salomea Sklodowaska was born on November 7, 1867. Her family called her Manya, but the world would remember her by another name: Marie Curie, one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. In a time when few women attended college, Marie earned degrees in physics and mathematics and went on to discover two elements: radium and polonium. She also invented a new word along the way: radioactive. This book celebrates her momentous achievements while also educating its readers about her scientific accomplishments and their implications.

  3. Chilly da Vinci - While others do “penguin” things, Chilly da Vinci—self-declared inventor penguin, builds machines that don’t work…yet! Chilly ties into the popular “maker” movement with humor and imagination. While others do “penguin” things, Chilly da Vinci—self-declared inventor penguin, builds machines that don’t work…yet!

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Did you enjoy our inventions book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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