Monday, July 7, 2014

Whatcha Makin'?

Makerspaces...Innovation Labs...Creation Stations... Epic Center, call it whatever you prefer, but there is no denying that this is something that has made its way into the library world. Libraries all over are adding spaces where children can explore, discover, create and build. My library is no exception and a makerspace will play a major role our upcoming remodel.
These new, and might I add amazing, picture books reflect the trend, showing how important it is for a child to embrace and explore their ideas and turn them into something amazing.

 Yamada, Kobi. What Do You Do With an Idea?. Seattle. Compendium. 2013.

A beautifully told story about a young child who isn't quite sure what to do with an idea that they have. At first the idea feels strange, uncomfortable so rather than exploring it further, the child walks away from it. The idea stays with the child and as the child becomes more comfortable with it, the idea begins to grow.  After sharing the idea with others, the child considers abandoning it when their idea is met with laughter and ridicule. The child decides to hold onto it, taking ownership of it, letting it grow more and more. One day the idea takes off and everything in the child's world has a piece of the idea in it.

Note: I love the feel of the paper in this book. I love that the only color in the pictures is that of the idea and what the idea touches as it gradually spreads and grows.

 Spires, Ashley. The Most Magnificent Thing. Canada. Kids Can Press. 2014.

After sketching out her idea for the most magnificent thing, a young girl gets to work designing, gathering materials and building it. Unfortunately, the idea doesn't work, not sure where it went wrong, she tries again...and again...and again. Each time becoming more and more frustrated that it isn't coming out how she had planned. As frustration mounts and after more failed attempts, she explodes. While walking her dog her anger slowly subsides and upon returning home she sees things much clearer. She notices the things that worked in each of her previous attempts of the magnificent thing and works feverishly to take all the good from each and put them together to create something new. She is working so hard that she doesn't even notice that others have found good uses for her failed attempts. At the end of the day all the hard work and perseverance pay off and she has made just what she wanted.

Beaty, Andrea. Rosie Revere, Engineer. New York. Abrams. 2013.

After being laughed at by her uncle for making him an amazing hat that sprays cheese to keep snakes away, Rosie stopped sharing her inventions with others. While she didn't stop creating, she kept her inventions to herself, hidden deep under her bed. When Aunt Rose comes for a visit she shares with Rosie how she has always dreamed of flying. Lying awake that night, Rosie comes up with an idea to make her aunt's dream come true. When the heli-o-cheese-copter is ready, Rosie takes it for a spin. As it crashes, Rosie hears laughter and decides right then and there to never create anything again. What Rosie didn't realize was that Aunt Rose wasn't mocking her, but rather praising her and her failed attempt. Auntie Rose points out that the crash was necessary for Rosie so that she could see the faults in invention, know what improvements needed to be made and most importantly, to never give-up.

Reynolds, Peter and Paul. Going Places. New York. Atheneum. 2014.

The Going Places go-cart building contest was something that Rafael had been looking forward to all school year long. So when he receives his kit, he follows the directions to a tee. Maya, on the other hand, has something else in mind. After studying a bird, she takes the materials she was given and creates a flying contraption. Upon seeing Maya's creation Rafael is horrified, she hasn't followed the directions at all, she didn't make a go-cart. When Maya tells Rafael that no one said it had to be a go-cart, he has an idea. Why not team up together and make something truly spectacular? When the day of the race arrives, others mock Rafael and Maya's creation for being so different. This doesn't phase Rafael and Maya, they are proud of what they have created and can't wait to show it to everyone.

Note: If you don't have access to the book this video is the perfect replacement.

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