Invention Biography and Game

Invention Biography and Game

Today is my turn again to share the Picture Book of the Day and my pick is MARVELOUS MATTIE written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully. It is the story of Margaret E. Knight who had an early interest and talent for inventing things and exposure to tools, a factory, and a machine shop. She goes on the patent an important invention and successfully start a manufacturing company. And she did it all in a long dress!

We all enjoyed this book. As an industrial designer, I identified with Mattie. Even 100 years later sadly, I also got strange reactions as a girl interested in machines. My daughter read the book to us and at the point where Mattie is filing for her patent I excitedly mentioned that I had several. Annabelle was like, “Shhh Mom…” So funny!

Emily Arnold McCully has written and beautifully illustrated many fantastic picture book biographies. Here is a link to her author’s page on Amazon. I have shared two more of her books. This one is fitting for Black History Month and this one is about the boys who discovered the cave painting at Lascaux.

We followed up this inspirational book with a game of DISRUPTUS!

Have you ever played this game? We got it as a family Christmas gift. The game includes cards with many different product images. You can see some of the cards in my post photo. To play, you roll the die which determines how you will use the next product image/s, either for parts, to improve, or to accomplish the product’s function in a new way. There is also a timer and a pad of paper for illustrating your ideas. It is a lot of fun and very customizable to players’ ages.

This turned out to be a really fun family activity for a freezing rainy winter vacation day!

If you are interested in inventing and how things are made you might like my post on manufacturing methods which includes an educational printable.

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I have discovered some great picture books thanks to the recommendations of my fellow Picture Book of the Day bloggers. Follow me on Instagram and search the hashtag #picturebookoftheday for more great picks!


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


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