Children’s Lit and Maker Mindset

Children’s Lit and Maker Mindset

One of the ways we help kids make sense of the world is through readalouds, bedtime stories, and shared literary experiences. Through books, we show our kids what’s possible in the world and to “try on” experiences in a safe way. So where are the makers in children’s fiction?

A month or so ago, on the CHILD_LIT listserv, a call went out for picture books with maker characters in them. Over the holidays, I found Crafty Chloe, by Kelly Di Pucchio and textile designer Heather Ross, to fit the bill perfectly. Part of what is now a two-book series, Crafty Chloe’s heroine, as the spread above shows, “knows that a whole outfit can be made out of Dad’s old shirts, and that coffee filters make very good flower hats for show-and-tell, and that anything becomes less boring with googly eyes on it.” 

There are lots of books that have crafty characters in it, but what I admire about this book (without spoiling the plot) is that her maker ability helps solve a real-world problem and saves others from having hurt feelings. You can preview the book here.

Accompanying the book and extending from virtual to real-world experiences is the Crafty Chloe blog:

Note the use of googley-eyes! There are lots of kid-friendly projects listed there..

Similarly, the eponymous Clementine, the delightful creation of Sara Pennypacker and illustrator Marla Frazee, wields a marker to help her friend out of a bad self-haircut. And that’s not all, as you can see in this image:


Emily reported a while back on this blog about the paucity of women in maker publications. Hopefully, titles like these can help show girls how making is natural for them, too.

What other works of fiction show maker mindset in action?

– Kristin

cross-posted to the Active Learning blog


Image Credit: Interior spread from Di Pucchio & Ross’s Crafty Chloe via kwout

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