Tag Archives: inventions

Izzy Gizmo












Izzy Gizmo
by Pip Jones, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
Peachtree, 2017

A rhyming delight, we follow Izzy Gizmo through her imaginative inventions, some that work and some that don’t!  She gives up when one fizzles, until her Grandpa encourages her to try again.  Izzy thinks about it…until a crow falls and breaks his wing and she takes him to the vet.  The vet suggests she help the crow adjust to living on the ground. She invents all sorts of contraptions to keep the crow happy, but what the crow really wanted, was to fly.  Again, after a series of mishaps and almost giving up, she comes up with a way for the crow to fly.  Before you know it a long line of things needing mending appear and Izzy is happy.

Bright, splashy colors of gidgets and gadgets will fascinate young minds.

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Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions












Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
By Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate
Charlesbridge, 2016

When a child is curious, they just have to explore, and that’s exactly what Lonnie Johnson did as a child.  Living in a small house with five brothers and sisters, he had challenges storing his rocket kits, bamboo shooters, rubber-band guns, erector set, go-kart engine, and all the other spare parts he used to make things.  He was an inventor.

From scratch he taught himself how to make a rocket and launched it for his classmates.  When an ‘exam’ told him he would not make a good engineer, he pushed through those claims because he knew he had Linux, a robot he had created from spare parts.  In 1968 he and Linux won a science fair at the University of Alabama, where only five years earlier, African American students hadn’t even been allowed.  In time he invents the Super-Soaker and, with perseverance, his dreams come true.  An inspiring story with encouragement to push through setbacks.

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The Inventor’s Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford

inventors secret












The Inventor’s Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford
by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Charlesbridge, 2015
NSTA 2016 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12

Who knew that two famous inventors, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, were friends?  And what was Thomas Edison’s secret for his many, many inventions?

This delightful story starts when both were curious boys who spent most of their time running experiments—and getting into trouble!  Thomas made explosions with chemistry experiments and was especially curious about electricity.  Henry was curious about the energy in a river and when he built a dam and waterwheel to catch the river’s energy, he flooded a neighbor’s field.  Mostly he was curious about engines.  When he built his first steam engine, it exploded and set his school’s fence on fire!

Thomas made many inventions, which everyone heard about.  Henry made a quadricycle that everyone laughed at.  What was Thomas’ secret, he wondered.  Then one day he decided to meet Thomas and find out his secret.  He talked his way into a dinner and waited and waited, until finally he had a chance to talk to Thomas.  Thomas lit up like a light blub when Henry told him about his four-cycle engine.  Henry sketched his invention and Thomas asked question after question.  And then it happened.  Thomas banged his fist on the table, and shared his secret!

This book is filled with history nuggets and an afterward sharing Thomas and Henry’s special friendship, how the author came to write the book and the challenges the illustrator had to accurately illustrate the book.  It also includes snippets of information on several inventions of both Thomas and Henry.  A great introduction to two twentieth century men who changed the world.  The Inventor’s Secret was awarded the NSTA 2016 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12.

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