Once Upon a Big Idea: The Story of Inventions

This captivatingly illustrated non-fiction book is a great introduction to the fascinating history of inventions. Seamlessly combining ancient and modern inventions, readers are taken on a balanced journey that involves rocks, metals, wheels, modern plastics and beyond.

The illustrations are enchanting and vibrant. Accompanied by sparse yet suggestive text, each double spread encourages readers to linger and explore the illustrated details. The bright, engaging colours are a feast to the eyes, enriching the reading experience and ensuring that both children and adults are drawn into the story. Carpentier’s talent and contribution to this book are remarkable and elevate the story to a whole new level.

Told in a rhyme, there are points in the narrative where this feels clunky and sometimes weak, however this does not detract from the information being shared overall. The subtle nod to the importance of recycling and innovation is appreciated as is the IDEA at the very end that encourages readers to get creative and design their own inventions.

While ideal for independent reading, this book truly shines when shared with an adult. This story will give curious children the opportunity to ask questions and explore the images beyond the words. A special highlight is found in the endpapers, which offer an opportunity to expand further into the inventions and reflect on the inventions documented throughout the book.

In summary, this book is not only an introduction to the inventions of humankind, but an invitation of discovery and exploration. It is a perfect read for curious minds and for making children aware of the world around them.


Book Cover - Once Upon a Big Idea: The Story of Inventions
Publication Date
March 2024
Age range