8 Picture Books To Encourage Kids to Create, Crash, & Try Again!

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written by Margaret Muirhead, author and school librarian

Want to encourage your children to become makers who think creatively, take risks, fail, and persevere again? If you haven’t heard of the Maker Movement, Adweek writes, “the maker movement, as we know it, is the umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers.”

When we encourage our kids to create, fail, and try again, it builds their grit and growth mindset.

Try these tales of making and inventing to inspire children to let their ideas take flight–even when they flail and flop.

Picture Books That Encourage Kids to Create, Crash, and Try Again!

The Book of Mistakes
by Corinna Luyken
What fabulous, fantastical world can you build–from an inky blot? The Book of Mistakes demonstrates how kids can embrace goof-ups to create something they never imagined possible.
Amazon  Bookshop

Flip! How the Frisbee Took Flight
by Margaret Muirhead; illustrated by Adam Gustavson
This true story follows a kid named Fred who uses his grit and stick-to-itness to spin his idea about a flying disc into a top-selling toy–the Frisbee!
Amazon Bookshop

What If?
By Samantha Berger; illustrated by Mike Curato
What If? shows kids how to transform limits into the limitless–using their infinite imagination. In this colorful story, there’s no boundaries to the creative spirit.
Amazon  Bookshop

Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum
by Meghan McCarthy
Pop! is the real-life story of Walter Diemer who mixes and brews hoping to create something new. After many mishaps, he finally stirs a bubbling batch of–bubble gum!
Amazon Bookshop

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando
by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz
Momofuku Ando imagined a new kind of noodle–nutritious, fast and easy. This true story tells how Ando’s dream didn’t just happen; it took drive and determination to create this delicious, instant treat.
Amazon Bookshop

Jabari Tries
by Gaia Cornwall
In this sweet story, Jabari wants to build a flying machine in his backyard. But after hammering, sticking, mixing, and measuring, he can’t make it work until he tries a different tack–and teams up with his sister.
Amazon  Bookshop

How the Cookie Crumbled: The True (and Not-So-True) Stories of the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie
by Gilbert Ford
How the Cookie Crumbled recounts the tale of the real-life Ruth Wakefield who loved to tinker with recipes and take risks. Even tough times don’t stop Ruth from opening her own restaurant and creating a chocolate crunch confection soon known as the Toll House cookie.
Amazon Bookshop

Whoosh: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
 by Chris Barton
When NASA scientist Lonnie Johnson stumbles onto an idea for a whooshing water shooter, he faces a flow of “no’s” from toy companies. But in this true story, Johnson doesn’t quit until he hears “yes”–and his Super Soaker becomes a drenching success.
Amazon Bookshop

About Margaret Muirhead

Margaret is a pre-K-8 school librarian and the author of the non-fiction picture book, FLIP! How the Frisbee Took Flight. She is also a maker of many whimsical things, who knows what it’s like to get frustrated when creating. Check out her crafts at www.homemadecity.com and learn more about FLIP! at www.margaretmuirhead.com.

Note from Melissa: Margaret, thank you! This selection of books is outstanding — and includes a few that I haven’t read. I am so excited to share this list with my readers.

8 Picture Books That Encourage Kids to Create, Crash, and Try Again!

Also Read:

Books with the Scientific Method (All Ages)
the scientific method in picture and chapter books

Best STEM Chapter & Middle Grade Books for Kids
25 Best STEM (STEAM) Chapter Books for Kids

Growth Mindset Picture Books

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