Inventor Adventure

A self-watering journey

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Pub Date 19 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 15 Mar 2024

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A 15 minutes read.

When Lilo realizes that his plants won’t be watered while he is on vacation, his inventive spirit takes over. He will simply invent a machine that will water them for him.

He attempts several experiments but encounters obstacles. Each setback holds an important science lesson that will bring him closer to his goal. More importantly, each setback offers a precious life lesson laying the building blocks for resilience, determination, and inner trust - qualities that many adults wish they learned sooner in life.

This multi-layered book unveils deeper treasures as the child matures:

  • Younger readers (6) can embark with Lilo for thrilling experiments and unexpected twists turning 'uh-oh' into 'aha!' moments.
  • Older children (7-8) can witness Lilo’s growth as an inventor, taking in precious life lessons: Overcoming overwhelm and perfectionism, daring to fail, nurturing inner trust, and much more. 
  • More mature children (9+) will unveil the profound meaning of the self-watering journey. Lilo’s invention becomes a metaphor for our own path of self-nurturing. The story beautifully illustrates that to care for anything in life, one must take care of their own well-being.

Each page sparks valuable conversations about science and life. It is a great prompt for discussions between teachers or parents and children. The perfect bedtime or classroom story.  

A 15 minutes read.

When Lilo realizes that his plants won’t be watered while he is on vacation, his inventive spirit takes over. He will simply invent a machine that will water them for him.


A Note From the Publisher

We've all felt it! The thrill of a new project.
We overthink it, anticipate challenges, what if we fail? Then we get stuck... us adults. Imagine your child being able to recognize and overcome these patterns early in life.
That's the goal of Selma – a recovering perfectionist, in her new book: Inventor Adventure.
In this book, science and life lessons are seamlessly woven into the story of a young inventor seeking a self-watering solution for his plants. No preaching, no lecturing. Kids grasp valuable life lessons without even realizing they're learning.

We've all felt it! The thrill of a new project.
We overthink it, anticipate challenges, what if we fail? Then we get stuck... us adults. Imagine your child being able to recognize and overcome...

Advance Praise

'' A wonderful book, not only for all high-achieving children, but also for adult entrepreneurs, inventors who would be humble enough to pick up a children's book." L. Bassett - Psychologist.

"What a privilege it is to give my son a head start in life with these critical lessons. This is the type of books that children should be reading.“ Dario T.

I’m not even sure where to start with how important ALL of the messaging in this book is. It does an amazing job incorporating them and keeping the story flowing and on point. VERY well done.“ Sara, Amazon reviewer.

“The lessons are things children desperately need to start learning young, and I think a lot of parents will be thrilled to give their kids a head start on these crucial life skills.“ Emma Amazon reviewer

“Although I appreciate the overall themes of science, inventiveness, and learning by doing that are the surface level topics of this book, the deeper meaning found in Lilo’s grappling with his feelings and learning to overcome obstacles, both external and internal, is really where this book shines.“ Goodreads reviewer

“The author made learning new things and important things into an enjoyable experience, without feeling like a chore or a boring lecture.“ Amazon reviewer

“I would gladly recommend this book to a wide audience including kids, teenagers, young adults, and even adults (both as a parenting guide and for the personal development of adults whom this story would resonate even more with. As adults, we frequently encounter and grapple with failure, and this book offers a beautiful reminder of how to approach and accept it.). I would also gladly recommend this book to entrepreneurs.“ Goodreads reviewer.

“My son lit up every time we were reading about the reason an experiment didn't work. He is usually into detective stories and this offered scientific investigation that gave him just as much pleasure.“ Amazon reviewer

“A child hearing that he is perfectly good enough from his mom is so reassuring to hear and something they can carry with them as adults.“ Amazon reviewer

"He learns the science of self-watering his plants ...and uncovers the wisdom of self-watering his heart."

'' A wonderful book, not only for all high-achieving children, but also for adult entrepreneurs, inventors who would be humble enough to pick up a children's book." L. Bassett - Psychologist.

"What a...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781962827010
PRICE $9.49 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 12 members

Featured Reviews

What a great book! Not only was it informative, it was also so positive. The message of working towards your goals was awesome. Also letting kids know it’s ok to fail and to keep on trying.

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5 ⭐️
How refreshing and rare to see a children’s book packed with so many clear and valuable self-confidence building lessons.

💡This book encourages independence, team work, creativity, exploration, resourcefulness and logical thinking for problem solving. It offers insight from mentors for things like: deciding what to do with other people’s advice, not giving up, learning things in stride, and understanding feelings during the process.

👏🏼 The illustrations and use of color helps break up the pages nicely, and having the lessons learned re-iterated at the bottom of the page makes it extremely clear so that the message doesn’t get lost.

🪴 Such a cute story and the fact that the MC is passionate about his plants is just adorable and inspiring. As a plant Mom to over 100 indoor plants, I might be taking some of my own lessons from Lilo. 😄

👦🏻 I plan to make my 9YO read this, I think every child needs to hear these encouraging messages multiple times.

Thanks to NetGalley, Mi Camino Publishing, and Selma Benkiran for going the extra mile to provide me with a complimentary ARC to review!

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In a Nutshell: An amazing picture book for older children that goes much beyond what the title promises. Informative and inspiring in all the right ways. Much recommended!

Plot Preview:
Young Lilo loves spending his summer vacations with his grandparents, but this year’s summer brings with it a special surprise: his parents are taking him on a month-long trip to the rainforest. Lilo is over the moon with joy, but his excitement soon peters out as he realises that there is no one to water his beloved plants when he goes on vacation. Taking advice from his friends as well the adults in his life, Lilo tries out some ways of creating a self-watering system. But every idea fails miserably. Lilo, however, is blessed to have some trustworthy adults around him, and with their ideas, he keeps working towards his goal. Will he succeed in creating a watering system for his plants?

While ‘inventor’ stories are fun to read, they always come packaged with a dollop of unrealism. Either the machines are too wacky or their outcome is over the top. I need to channel every little remnant of my inner child to read such stories with the right attitude without rolling my eyes at the absurdity of the proceedings.
Thankfully, I needed no such prep for this amazing book. Which is why I am going to begin with the negative feedback first – the ONLY point where I feel that the book could have done better: the title. While the current title represents the story, it doesn’t indicate the WHOLE of the story. This little tale is so much beyond a typical adventure story or an inventor story or even a ‘self-watering journey’ that the current title and tagline don’t do justice to it.
Other than this, all I have is positives and praise. Here’s what I loved about this book:
🌹 Lilo’s character: Realistic all the way. I appreciate how he is depicted with genuine emotions, ranging from excitement to anger, joy to frustration.
🌹 Lilo’s willingness to take advice from not just his friends but also the adults in his life. So many books make children solve every single problem on their own. We need such books to make kids understand that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.
🌹 The adult characters: Lilo’s parents and grandparents are so well represented! They are there for Lilo when he needs them, but they aren’t overprotective or interfering. They offer just as much help as required and then leave him to learn some more through trial and error. There’s a lesson herein for all adults as well.
🌹 The scientific knowhow, including some interesting tidbits about Lilo’s plants, the way in which water reaches plants, and how self-watering can work.
🌹 The affirmations that Lilo gathers every step of the way, learning from his mistakes and from the advice offered by the adults. I love how these life lessons are highlighted at the bottom of the right page in a special box.
🌹 The practical approach to problem solving: So simple that even a child can implement it! I am never a fan of self-help books because they always promote generalisations. This book, however, gets all the advice right. The life lessons are written in a way that speaks to kids but has much to teach adults as well.
🌹 The creative thinking depicted through the innovative ideas that Lilo tries for his self-watering plan.
🌹 The message about perfectionism vs. ‘good-enoughism’: Always a great lesson for everyone to learn!
🌹 Amazing use of the page space, with the text neatly arranged and with enough spacing in between lines. The writing makes use of highlights and coloured text for the key points.
🌹 The illustrations – Inclusive sketches coloured in soothing light pastels. Subtle enough to keep the focus on the content and precise enough to complement the text perfectly.
🌹 The parting note took me totally by surprise because until I saw it, I hadn’t noticed something special in the illustrations. Loved this Easter egg!

All in all, this picture book is an amazing combination of informative and inspiring. I loved almost everything it stands for. The medley of scientific approach and life lessons is a winner.
Strongly recommended. This would be a great addition to any home or classroom library, as its appeal is not restricted only to those who love plants and/or gardening. Because of the content and approach, this picture book would work best for kids aged 6+.
4.75 stars.
My thanks to author Selma Benkiran, Mi Camino Publishing and NetGalley for the DRC of “Inventor Adventure”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.

The digital version of this book is currently available free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

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Thank you NetGalley for letting me read this book. This is a perfect book for older kids to learn about science as well as emotions. This book has many different activities to try.

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4.5 stars rounded up

What a cute book! As a math and science educator, I really enjoyed and appreciated this book. Lilo is the main character in this story, and he discovers at the beginning of the book that instead of spending his summer with his grandparents, his family is going to be going on a month-long visit to the rainforest. He realizes pretty quickly that he needs to figure out a way to water his plants while they are gone, so he tries to invent a self-watering system for his plants.

As a whole, this story is about the process of inventing, and learning that you usually don't succeed the first time you try, but instead, you learn from the failures and step by step, you make progress until you succeed. However, what I particularly loved about this story was that Lilo didn't automatically know that, and that it took the encouragement and discussions with his family members and his friends to learn this lesson. I also like that his grandpa was a tinkerer, but he never tried solving Lilo's challenge for him. Instead, he asked him questions, encouraged his questions, and let Lilo experiment on his own.

The illustrations are really cute, and each step has a take-home message in bold in the text of the story, as well as highlighted in a banner at the bottom right of each page. They are also color coded with a green or blue bead depending on whether the lesson is a life lesson (green) or a science lesson (blue). At the end is an illustration with scenes from the book in green or blue circles and a reminder of each lesson, as well as reflection questions. These questions are good for children and adults alike.

This could be a great book for a teacher or parent to read to a young child, but it could also be used in elementary school for early readers. This would also be great for homeschooling. There's a website where you can request worksheet guides and activities.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the author and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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From sunflowers to cacti to Venus flytraps, An Inventor Adventure: A Self-watering Journey by Selma Benkiran, is filled with vibrant and engaging illustrations and endearing universally-applicable themes.

As a lover of gardening, I immediately empathised with Lilo, who had identified a problem: Who would water his plants while on holiday?

His quest to water his plants while on holiday becomes a metaphor for the challenges we all face in life. His determination to create something functional while facing perfectionism, fear of failure, and feelings of overwhelm, all while parsing and handling others' opinions are feelings that transcend any age. So how will Lilo find his answers?

This is more than a children's book. It's a treasure trove of wisdom wrapped in an enchanting narrative. Of course, I’m not the target audience, however, I was utterly charmed and felt very inspired after reading this.

My heartfelt thanks to Selma Benkiran for inviting me to read her book through NetGalley, as well as NetGalley and Mi Camino Publishing for the DRC.

The digital book is currently available free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

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4.5 Stars

Little Lilo is worried. He has to go on a summer vacation and leaves his plants alone at home. But how can his precious plants survive without water? With some help from friends and family, Lilo comes up with an innovative idea for self-watering plants. But the route to success is filled with bumps and roadblocks.
The book seamlessly blends a multitude of lessons and doesn’t feel the least bit overwhelming. The science concepts are kept simple and easy. Lilo fails a few times before succeeding, which makes his progress authentic. Most importantly, he asks for advice and gets it from friends and family members.
Parents and teachers reading the book together will have much to think about. There are many points for discussion – determination, support without control, good advice, what to do with the advice, the need to take a break, etc. The book ends with a bead necklace that summarizes the lessons into neat beads (with different-colored borders). I love this idea.
The content is placed on each page and comes in short paragraphs. Important words are in bold. The illustrations are softer with more pastel shades. Not something I prefer much, but they suit the storyline perfectly. (Young) Readers will find it easy to focus on the text and its message instead of getting distracted by the artwork. And when a book combines science and life lessons, the text is a priority!

To summarize, Inventor Adventure is a delightful book with many lessons and a touch of fun. It is inspiring without being preachy and in the face. Grab a copy for your little ones. You won’t regret it.
Thank you, NetGalley and Mi Camino Publishing, for the eARC. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.

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