January 17 – Kid Inventors’ Day

Happy Kid Inventors’ Day!

January 17th is Benjamin Franklin’s birthday and Kid Inventors’ Day. This is a day celebrated to acknowledge kid inventors of the past and to encourage future kid inventors.


Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin written and illustrated by Gene Barretta (2006)

This picture books uses comical drawings to illustrated the ideas behind inventions which are originally attributed to Benjamin Franklin… things like swimming flippers, bifocals, political cartoons, the musical armonica, lightening rods, long-arm grabbers, rocking chairs that do other jobs like fan or churn butter and the Franklin stove to heat the house more evenly than a fireplace. Benjamin Franklin also established the first library, hospital, post office, fire department, and sanitation department. But what he is probably most famous for is his role in developing America’s Constitution, the Treaty of Alliance with France, the Treaty of Peace with England, and the Declaration of Independence.


Inventor McGregor written by Kathleen T. Pelley and illustrated by Michael Chesworth (2006)

Hector McGregor was a genius at fixing things and inventing things his friends and family needed. He invented a barking mailbag to keep the dogs away from the postman, monkey tail belts for Mr. MacKay’s boys who dilly-dally around, helping hands for Mrs. McIver the mother of triplets, a pop-up bed alarm for  little Jamie Campbell who slept through his alarm clock, and bouncing boots of Wee Willie Beattie so he could see over crowds. One day, the president of the Royal Society of Inventors offered Mr. McGregor a fancy job in the city inventing things. Hector didn’t like leaving his family every day to go to work in the city, but he took the job. The problem was, he was in an empty room with only a long white lab coat, a name badge, and an a blank easel to work at. For weeks, he had no ideas. Hector just couldn’t work in that sterile environment. People began to talk about him, until he finally gave up his fancy job and went back to being a painter, a dreamer, and an inventor at home. Inventor McGregor learned that at long as he could ‘sing, and paint, and fiddle, and fling’ then he could do just what he loved doing most.


Imaginative Inventions written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper (2001)

Funny rhyming information about common everyday things and their inventors. Read about how potato chips, piggy banks, doughnut, roller skates, vacuum cleaners, and many other things were invented. In her final poem ‘A Last Word About Inventions’ Charise Mericle Harper writes, “Inventors can be young or as old as ninety-three, they just need imagination to see things creatively.”

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