Kids love to dream about becoming inventors. After all, tinkering and creativity come naturally to them. These picture and chapter books revel in the magic of creations and innovation while illuminating the other processes that are critical for success: curiosity, imagination, problem solving, and most of all, persistence. Flip through the album below to discover 13 stories that’ll get their gears spinning.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Age: 8-12

Brian Selznick has become renowned for his historical fiction that features a unique blend of words and his trademark moody, full-page illustrations. While this book may look like a tome, a large part is told purely in pictures, so younger readers need not be intimidated. The mysterious story, set in 1930s France and involving an orphan who lives in a Parisian train station and is responsible for winding the clocks, also makes a great bedtime read-aloud.

Available at scholastic.com, $17.49.

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Which book do you want to read with your kids? Share with us in a comment below!

—Emma Bland Smith