84 Children's Books About Inventions

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
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.

This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer book
#2
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.

Norton and Alpha book
#3
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!"

Papa's Mechanical Fish book
#4
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.

Henry's Bright Idea book
#5
Henry's Bright Idea
Written by Lauren Bradshaw and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Deep in the shade of a walnut grove stands a tall tree house. A delightful group of friends gathers here. They call themselves the Walnut Animal Society. Their mission is to create and to always remain curious. Henry the Fox is a knowledgeable fellow, known for his unique inventions. Margaux the Kitty’s many books are filled with stories and poems she’s written. Ruthie the Deer loves to dance like the butterflies that flutter outside. The collection of ropes and fishing poles belongs to adventurous Chester the Raccoon. Magnolia the Bunny makes maps of the places she’s explored beyond the walnut grove. And Eleanor the Bear gathers flowers and plants to make tea for her friends. Henry is a founding member of the Walnut Animal Society, an inventor and a tinkerer. Today Henry is not inventing or tinkering. Henry has lost his idea. Follow Henry and his friend Eleanor as they search for Henry’s lost idea and discover much more in this charming picture book, the first in a series of titles, reminiscent of such classics as Winnie the Pooh, and illustrated in a rich, vintage palette.

The Robot Book book
#6
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?†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.

Melia and Jo book
#7
Melia and Jo
Written and illustrated by Jennifer Oxley, 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
#8
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.

How to Catch the Easter Bunny book
#9
How to Catch the Easter Bunny
Written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Is this the year you'll be able to catch the Easter bunny in action? Start an Easter tradition with this fun and funny children's book, from the New York Times bestselling creators of How to Catch a Leprechaun! "I've been working long and hard with all my peeps and crew. We've made the eggs, and now I'm here to bring them all to you!"

Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe book
#10
Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe
Written by Katey Howes and illustrated by Valerio Fabbretti
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-10

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 . . .

I Am Albert Einstein book
#11
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.

If You Had a Jetpack book
#12
If You Had a Jetpack
Written by Lisl Detlefsen and illustrated by Linzie Hunter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Having a jetpack is fun—if you know what to do with one. If you had a jetpack, you could: * Teach your brother how to build one too. * Demonstrate its usefulness at Show and Share Time at school. * Give your principal a ride home. * Fly south to visit your nana. * Visit the astronauts on the space station and help with anything that needed fixing. Join one inventive little rabbit as he and his brother put their new jetpack to good use!

Amazing Inventions book
#13
Amazing Inventions
Written and illustrated by James Olstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

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.

Edison book
#14
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.

The Bone Snatcher book
#15
The Bone Snatcher
Written and illustrated by Charlotte Salter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

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.

The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell book
#16
The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell
Written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Gerard DuBois
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Joey Cornell collected everything — anything that sparked his imagination or delighted his eye. His collection grew and grew until he realized that certain pieces just looked right together. He assembled his doodads to create wonderful, magical creations out of once ordinary objects. Perfect for introducing art to kids, here’s an imaginative and engaging book based on the childhood of great American artist Joseph Cornell, told by master picture book author Candace Fleming and lauded illustrator Gérard DuBois.

The Discovery of Ramen book
#17
The Discovery of Ramen
Written by Oliver Chin, Phil Amara and illustrated by Juan Calle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Dao is an adorable red panda who can travel back in time and place! Two curious kids Ethan and Emma befriend him and together they discover how some very cool things came from Asia. In their first adventure, Ethan and Emma smell a tasty bowl of ramen noodles. Luckily Dao is the perfect guide to see how ramen was created! The trio zip to 1800s Japan, then skip across the decades to visit ramen factories, museums, and restaurants. Hungry for knowledge, they travel across the world and even zoom to outer space! Ramen has never been more popular. Dynamic art brings food alive and off the page to the point where your mouth will water. After savoring this tasty tale, get ready to discover more marvelous inventions from The Asian Hall of Fame!

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator book
#18
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Written by Roald Dahl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

The Unsinkable Walker Bean book
#19
The Unsinkable Walker Bean
Written and illustrated by Aaron Renier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-14

In order to save his ailing grandfather from a curse, boy inventor Walker Bean must return an accursed pearl skull to the witches who created it, and face pirates, magical machines, and deadly peril along the way.

Ellie, Engineer: In the Spotlight book
#20
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.

Tomo Takes Flight book
#21
Tomo Takes Flight
Written and illustrated by Trevor Lai
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Best friends Tomo and Maya discover a drawing of a magnificent Flying Machine in their adventure journal. With engineering know-how and determination, Tomo decides to build it himself and explore the skies! But no matter how many times he tries, the machine just won’t work…until they spot a rare bird whose nest has fallen. By studying the bird’s wings, Tomo and Maya know just what they need to take flight! Once aloft, Tomo is able to help the bird find a new perch for its nest. In this sequel to Tomo Explores the World, the friends learn that sometimes it takes a perseverance and observation to truly soar. Perfect for young makers and animal lovers, Tomo Takes Flight is a fun and inspiring story that emphasizes creativity and imagination to achieve your goals.

The Story of Kites book
#22
The Story of Kites
Written by Ying Chang Compestine and illustrated by Yongsheng Xuan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Ting, Pan, and Kùai are tired of working in the rice fields, protecting the harvest from the birds. They try everything -- they bang pots, blow whistles, and wave their arms. If only they could fly, they’d drive those birds away forever! Then the boys get an idea: if they made wings, they could fly! Using paper, straw, and feathers, the boys try to launch themselves into the sky from the hilltop above the rice fields. Kersplash! What else can the Kang boys come up with to keep those naughty birds away from their rice? Enjoy the third adventure of the Kang brothers who discovered some of China's most amazing inventions — now with a new bilingual Chinese translation!

How to Build a Hug book
#23
How to Build a Hug
Written by Jacqueline Tourville, Amy Guglielmo and illustrated by Giselle Potter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Amy Guglielmo, Jacqueline Tourville, and Giselle Potter come together to tell the inspiring story of autism advocate Dr. Temple Grandin and her brilliant invention: the hug machine. As a young girl, Temple Grandin loved folding paper kites, making obstacle courses, and building lean-tos. But she really didn’t like hugs. Temple wanted to be held—but to her, hugs felt like being stuffed inside the scratchiest sock in the world; like a tidal wave of dentist drills, sandpaper, and awful cologne, coming at her all at once. Would she ever get to enjoy the comfort of a hug? Then one day, Temple had an idea. If she couldn’t receive a hug, she would make one…she would build a hug machine!

Ada Lace, on the Case book
#24
Ada Lace, on the Case
Written by Tamson Weston, Emily Calandrelli and illustrated by Renee Kurilla
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Ada Lace—third-grade scientist and inventor extraordinaire—has discovered something awful: her neighbor’s beloved Yorkie has been dognapped! With the assistance of a quirky neighbor named Nina (who is convinced an alien took the doggie) and her ever-growing collection of gadgets, Ada sets out to find the wrongdoer. As their investigation becomes more and more mysterious, Ada and Nina grow closer, proving that opposites do, in fact, attract.

Electric Ben book
#25
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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!