Brilliant ideas don’t just appear or get perfected in one fell swoop. Those ideas take time, effort, and a lot of mistakes. Mistakes and setbacks are things that are hard for some kids to deal with. They want to just give up if something is difficult. That is one of the reasons that I am so fascinated by the new series From An Idea To.… by Lowey Bundy Sichol, MBA. I saw a few of these in a bookstore in Asheville over the summer and when a publicist offered to send me 2 of the books, I was definitely intrigued.
The From an Idea to… series is the world’s first entrepreneurship biographies for kids. There are currently four books available that focus on businesses that are of high interest to middle graders, including Disney, Nike, Google, and Lego. There are a lot of great biographies for kids these days, especially about people who have created new products, but these books are much more in-depth at approximately 100 pages each.
I first read the book about Nike as I had actually just finished the book Shoe Dog: Young Readers Edition. After reading his personal memoir, I was going into this book with knowledge about Phil Knight. I am seriously impressed. While Shoe Dog is about Knight and how he came about the idea of selling shoes and the struggles of those early years, From An Idea To Nike gives a quick overview of that material but also takes it further to more recent years and things that younger readers will actually be able to relate to.
The book is filled with fun facts, definitions, and explanations of complex topics such as marketing and why companies go public. CS Jennings provides b/w illustrations throughout the book to break up the material and keep readers’ attention. For young entrepreneurs, this is a great look at the power of marketing and how teaming up with others can make all the difference.
From an Idea to Disney is also a great book focusing on the imagination of Walt Disney, but also the Disney company and its ups and downs after his death. The chapters about the struggles of the “Disney Brand” during the 70s and 80s are great for kids today to read as many of them cannot imagine a time when Disney wasn’t the huge name that it is now. On a personal note, I grew up with Disney. Disneyland was a big part of my childhood, I loved watching classic Disney movies on their Sunday specials, and I vividly remember when The Little Mermaid came out and changed the very notion of an animated film. Reading about all of the ups and downs was fascinating.
These books are wonderful. There are great lessons in them, they encourage creativity and perseverance, and they will attract readers who are not impressed with light stories and want more non-fiction than fiction. I’m really excited to read the Lego and Google books which came out in July.