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To celebrate National Engineering Week, here’s our favorite children’s books for future engineers! Have you read any of these books to your children? Let me know in the comments.
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
One of my favorite quotes from the book, “The only true failure can come if you quit.” There is also some history, as the ‘real’ Rosie the Riveter (from WWII) makes an appearance as Rosie’s Great-Great-Aunt Rose. This book is especially empowering to young girls. My full review here.
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat
Who doesn’t know the story of Humpty Dumpty? But do you know the story of what happened to him after ‘THE FALL’? Our failures don’t define us, but what we do after we fail does. Engineering is challenging and experiments sometimes fail. Those that get back up after their failures and find the courage to try again will find that they can challenge themselves to be more than they ever imagined. My full review here.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
The Most Magnificent Thing written and illustrated by Ashley Spires is an adorable book about a young girl and her best friend, which is her dog. She wants to create the “MOST magnificent thing” and knows exactly what she wants to do. She and her dog get to work but she quickly realizes her project isn’t as easy as she anticipated. She tries multiple times and fails. Eventually she gets MAD and decides to quit. Her dog convinces her to take a walk and she comes back to her project with a fresh outlook and enthusiasm. Every great engineer has failed at some point… sometimes repeatedly – this is experimenting. It can be extremely frustrating, and quitting seems like the best option sometimes. BUT the best scientists and problems solvers, don’t quit. They take a break and come back to the problem with renewed enthusiasm. My full review here.
Ordinary People Change the World Series Books by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
This book series is about ordinary people that followed their dreams, beliefs, and ambitions to change the world. They weren’t just famous people, they were / are heroes that truly impact/ed the world to make it better and persevered through many challenges. They aspired to be problem solvers just like many engineers would do in real life! My full review here.
Ada Lace Adventures Book Series by Emily Calandrelli
Ada Lace is a third grader and she love science, math, and technology. She loves to investigate, solve problems, and fight crime in her neighborhood and at school with her gadgets, robots, intelligence, and best friend! This is a chapter book series that will for sure keep your young reader interested and problem solving, like an engineer, along with little Ada! If you don’t yet know the author, Emily Calandrelli, she is an engineer, science communicator, and TV host (most notably to my girls as Emily, from Emily’s Wonder Lab on Netflix).
If I Built Series by Chris Van Dusen
If I built a school, a car and a house is a book series built (pun intended) on the incredibly playful imagination of a boy named Jack. There is no limit to his imagination. As an engineer, you have to be creative, and this book definitely has a lot of that!
What do you do with an idea? by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom
Engineering requires creative thinking. Engineering requires some risk for those ideas. Sometimes our ideas are brilliant and sometimes we learn from them. This book explores the story of a child with a brilliant idea and how it is brought into the world.
What do you do with a problem? by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom
Engineers encounter lots of problems that need to be solved! But sometimes a problem can seem so big that you don’t know how to solve it. This story is about a boy that encounters just that, what happens as he avoids it, and then once he has the courage to face it, what he realizes about it.
Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
This book is absolutely beautifully illustrated for children! The message throughout this book is that every mistake is an opportunity to be more inventive and creative. This is an incredible life lesson and also a lesson that definitely carries into engineering and many other art and science fields.
Zoe and Sassafras Series by Asia Citro
A girl, Zoey, who loves science and her cat, Sassafras, go on magical adventures to help animals find magical cures, habitats, etc. They run experiments, do research, and keep a science journal while they investigate each mystery for each animal just like a great scientist or an engineer would do their problem solving.
I’ve found reading books to be the ‘STEM’ that roots us into the blossoming of knowledge. You can check more books I’ve recommended in my “Reading STEM’s Learning Book Reviews” page.