“We like to say that the story of invention is the story of America.”

In If Not You, Then Who (Weeva), a new three-book STEM series targeted at ages 4 to 8, authors David and Emberli Pridham do a most convincing job teaching children about the inventions and patents in everyday life.

“Someone reading this book could very well be the next Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Hedy Lamarr, or Steve Jobs,” they believe. “In fact, any of our readers can (and will) come up with the next great invention and change the world.”

The series is fun to read for both adults and children and can be read on multiple levels. Younger children will relate to the main storyline, while older children will enjoy diving into the backstory of the inventions. All children will be invited to imagine their own creations. “No dream is too big, and no dreamer is too small to succeed,” they say. 

By way of explanation, the authors note, “Patents are inventions, which are ideas that spring to life … The transition from an idea to an invention to a patent is fascinating and critical to mankind’s advancement. Patents … transcend gender, race, socio-economic status, and class.”

Book 1, The Inventor in the Pink Pajamas, is perfect for kids who enjoy science and making things. In it, Brooke Fairley is an enthusiastic, curious 10-year-old who can’t wait to start each new day. Inspired by her grandfather and their mutual delight in how inventions come about, Brooke looks for ways to improve the world around her and sets out to imagine her own.

Every day — in fact, every step in her day — is a learning experience. The shutting off of her alarm clock is accompanied by a “Did You Know” page about the origin of alarm clocks. Ditto as she picks out her pair of jeans, uses striped toothpaste and grabs toast from the toaster. Fascinating facts and fun learning are what these books are all about. When the authors ask what inventions Brooke could devise to make her daily tasks easier, great illustrations clearly make the point!

The fascinating facts come at you fast and furious, no matter your age. For example:

  • Louis de Corlieu invented modern swimfins (also known as flippers) in 1914. Early inventors like Leonardo da Vinci and Benjamin Franklin had experimented with their own fins hundreds of years before.
  • In the 1950s, Dr. Hunter Shelden designed the first car seat belt. Dr. Shelden worked at a hospital and got the idea after seeing many patients with head injuries.
  • Noah McVicker invented Play-Doh in the 1930s to clean coal stains from wallpaper. It was first known as cleaning putty.
  • Popsicles first became popular in San Francisco in 1922. Back then, they were called “Epsicles” in honor of their inventor, Frank Epperson.

The book covers everything from chocolate chip cookies to sneakers to soccer balls to Astroturf and teddy bears.

In Book 2, Noah’s Treehouse, Brooke’s younger brother Noah is on a quest to build the ultimate treehouse, and readers once again learn about the inventions used along the way. 

Said the authors, “History is filled with stories of unlikely inventions and inventors. We decided to continue the series to reinforce this message.”

In book three, Let the Games Begin, Brooke and Noah want to play a game, but they can’t decide what to play. Follow the siblings as they create their own games and learn about the inventions that make sports safe and fun for everyone.

The series is presented by Dominion Harbor, a leading intellectual property firm, and Weeva Kids, a new line of books committed to creating art for children. With every book, young readers are invited “to explore the infinite possibilities of their own imaginations and encourage their efforts to make the world a better, more vibrant place.”

The Inventor In The Pink Pajamas, Noah’s Treehouse and Let the Games Begin are all available for purchase.

Husband and wife David and Emberli Pridham have always been inspired by children’s educational books and thought it would be fun to write one together based on family, inventions, and how they are used in everyday life. They hope to inspire little ones to use their imaginations and spark curiosity at a young age. The series is a fun read for adults too.

Hanna Luechtefeld spent the early part of their childhood in New Hampshire, the later part in Missouri, and all of it in the woods. Long afternoons filled with outdoor adventure gave them a flair for the creative and a love of storytelling. They graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2019 with degrees in graphic design and illustration and a passion for zines and DIY comics. Today, Hanna lives in Kansas City, where they help run a local art gallery and music venue. When not preparing for a zine fest, you can find them outside: mountain biking, roller blading, or hiking.

Nadia Ronquillo is a Children’s Book Illustrator, Visual Development Artist and Content Creator from Ecuador. She majored in Graphic Design and Audiovisual Production, and right away started freelancing as a children’s book illustrator and collaborating remotely as a visual development artist with the animation studio Cocoa López, Mexico. Her work can be found in children’s books, animated shorts and television.

Anyu Rouaux is a freelance illustrator based in Belgium. She graduated from CGI and 3D animation school in France. She does freelance work for (children) publishing, illustration and concept art.