Why I Write Abby Invents SeeSoar Kids

Why I Write Abby Invents

“Be the change you wish to see in the world!”

Diversity in Children's Books

In 2015, I stumbled across stats highlighting the lack of diversity in children’s literature. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that animal characters outnumber Black characters in books. I decided then to be a changemaker and solve this problem.

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." 

- Toni Morrison

Drawing on Toni Morrison’s words, I chose to have my writing tackle a problem that I am very passionate about solving — the gender & racial gap in patenting. Only 12.8% of US patent holders are women. Can books help kids see themselves as inventors? Can my writing help change the perception of what an inventor looks like?

“Ideas are precious gifts. They come to us anytime, anywhere. You have to capture them the moment they arrive." 

- Sara Blakely

Inspiration comes when you least expect it. I was sitting in my cubicle at a former job when inspiration struck. While doodling with a pencil,  my train of thought went like this.

“What tools do kids doodle with?” 

Pencils, crayons…

“What is one problem with crayons today that needs solving?”

They break…

Introducing Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons

Why is her name Abby?

Abby Invents book image

I woke up one day with Abby’s name on my lips. Sometimes sleep brings clarity, and I woke up proclaiming that her name shall be Abby. I didn’t know then what she would invent. I just knew her name and that she’d wear giant afro puffs.

What does Abby Invents means?

Abby means Give Joy. Invents comes from the Latin word, “inventus”, meaning to discover. So, Abby Invents literally means there is joy in discovery.

What is your first book about?

Tired of coloring with broken crayons, Abby invents the world’s first unbreakable crayons and earns her first patent.

Is Abby inspired by your personal story?

In many ways, she is. We’re both very curious questioneers. We’ve both failed a lot before our experiments were successful. We both have patents. We both have mentors who speak life into us when we want to give up. Where we differ is that Abby is exposed to inventing as a 6-year old. She meets a Black female inventor in her classroom and knows then that if Inventor Maya Smartt can be an inventor, then she can too. That realisation only happened for me in graduate school when my PhD advisor told me that I could. One key challenge that minorities face is exposure. Abby Invents solves this challenge by exposing kids to inventing while they are in K-5.

What feedback have you received?

The National Inventors Hall of Fame rated Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons as a top 10 STEM book. 

Purdue University gave a seal of approval to Abby Invents for promoting engineering thinking and design and included the book in the 2019 Engineering Gift Guide.

Parents regularly send messages like these:

Abby Invents Parent Praise

And I continue to be blown away by the love that Abby has received by everyone.

Purchase Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons at www.seesoarkids.com or on Amazon.
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