Be a Maker

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

$17.99  $16.73
Carolrhoda Books (R)
Publish Date
9.5 X 11.2 X 0.5 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Katey Howes is thrilled to be making books for children. She also makes bad jokes, great apple crisp, and messy mistakes. A former physical therapist, Katey now divides her time between writing award-winning stories, raising kids with a love of books, and contributing to parenting, literacy, and STEM websites. Find her online at, on Twitter @kateywrites, and on Instagram @kidlitlove.

Elizabet Vukovic received her BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. She specializes in children's book illustration but enjoys experimenting with character design, concept art, fashion illustration, and decorative art. Her illustrated books include Debbi Michiko Florence's Jasmine Toguchi series, Katey Howes's Be A Maker, and Elana K. Arnold's An Ordinary Day. She currently resides in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


"The book asks, 'In a world of possibilities, today, what will you make?' From there, we see a young girl of color, armed with an imagination and a drive to build, create one thing after another, from small towers of toys to a playground that everyone can share. The words are written in rhyme, providing a satisfying flow throughout the book. The illustrations are full of details and beautiful colors, including the girl's bedroom covered in posters and books of famous people in history who are known for their innovations. Each creation the girl builds is made more elaborate through her imagination. Together, the words and the illustrations provide an encouraging story that one is capable of anything they set their mind to. VERDICT While the idea of children creating is not new, this book stands out. With the subtle odes to famous makers and innovators in the illustrations, and the rhythm of the words, this book is an inspiring choice for story time or one-on-one sharing."--School Library Journal

-- (1/24/2020 12:00:00 AM)

"Children are natural 'makers, ' and this timely picture book reinforces the importance of creativity and exuberant play. An African American girl wakes up and considers a world of possibilities. Obvious clues reveal her interest in astronomy and space travel: a portrait of Mae Jemison, star chart curtains, and a rocket ship in a bottle. Pictures and rhyming text show her writing plans, building a tower, creating a telescope, and constructing a spaceship. Once outside: 'Make a map to journey's end. . ./ on the way, you make a friend.' That friend, a red-headed boy, likes boats, water, and exploring the ocean depths. Background illustrations show a group of people building a new playground in the park. The two friends are part of the diverse community that makes the playground a reality as they 'Make a difference, / shine a light, / Make your town a team tonight.' Detailed illustrations in watercolor, gouache, and colored pencils show numerous creative projects, while a little spider observes the activities indoors and out. Inspirational on many levels."--Booklist

-- (4/12/2019 12:00:00 AM)

"Follow along as a child makes a spaceship, a friend, and a difference in her community. 'Ask yourself this question in the morning when you wake: / in a world of possibilities, today, what will you make?' Upon waking up, a young girl uses her imagination and things she has at home to make a tower, a drum set, and a spaceship. When she ventures outside, she makes a new friend. Working together, they make a lemonade stand and then make a donation to the local park. Finally, they make a choice to help more in order to make a difference in their community. Howes speaks to readers in rhyming verse about the many things they can make, intentionally repeating the verb throughout. Including themes of creativity, imagination, music, engineering, relationships, economics, and community service, she creates a powerful message about making choices to be proud of. Vukovic uses mixed media, including watercolors and crayon, to create lively, striking illustrations. The pictures capture a child's imagination and how ordinary things can be made into something extraordinary. Together the text and the illustrations create an excellent read that will empower readers to reflect on their own lives and make a change or two or three. The unnamed protagonist has brown skin and long, dark braids; her friend presents white. This is more than just a book about making and engineering: Make an excellent choice to add this to the shelves."--Kirkus Reviews

-- (12/11/2018 12:00:00 AM)