Patience and perseverance are among the hardest things for children to learn. How can we make pressing on in the face of discouragement interesting to kids? By reading them amazing stories of creativity and resilience! Picture book biographies show the satisfying results of persevering over a lifetime. All ages will be inspired by the true tales shared in these ten picture books.
What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur?
written by Rana DiOrio and Emma D. Dryden
illustrated by Ken Min
Little Pickle Press / Sourcebooks, 2016
When Rae observes an accident involving a dog and some ice cream, she imagines a dog washing business, applying her creativity to the practical and fun aspects of starting a business. The book aims to “inspire young dreamers to find the courage to be doers.” The illustrations work handsomely with the text to give budding entrepreneurs plenty of ideas and pathways to start their own dream business.
The Startup Squad
written by Brian Weisfeld and Nicole C. Kear
Imprint / Macmillan, 2019
Resa, Didi, Amelia, and Harriet are teamed up in their classroom to run a lemonade stand in the class competition to get premier tickets to their local amusement park. Resa and Didi are best friends but they think colorful and flamboyant Harriet is weird and Amelia has just moved into town and Resa has already decided she doesn’t like her. The girls make plenty of wrong turns in their goal to succeed by earning the most money but eventually they learn to trust each other and work as a team. The story is absorbing, fun, and energetic while the information on marketing, sales, planning, accounting, and ethics are easily learned as a seamless part of the story. There are two more books in this series. The Startup Squad website features profiles of girl CEOs and business resources.
Mo’s Bows: A Young Person’s Guide
to Start-Up Success: Measure, Cut,
Stitch Your Way to a Great Business
written by Moziah Bridges and Tramica Morris
Running Press Kids, 2019
When Moziah Bridges appeared on Shark Tank at nine years old, he was walking a path that would lead to selling his gorgeous bow ties in Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. He created bow ties for the NBA and President Obama. This book for middle grade readers shares his ups, downs, anecdotes, and advice on following their own paths to business success.
What Do You Do with an Idea?
written by Kobi Yamada
illustrated by Mae Besom
What does an idea look like? In this wildly popular book for children (and adults), it looks like an egg, with legs, and a golden crown. The child in the book is uncomfortable about the egg, unsure of what it is, but the egg hangs around. As the child gets used to the egg (the idea) and gains confidence about the idea, the egg grows and becomes more substantial. By the end of the book, the child’s idea changes the world. A good discussion starter.
How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000:
Earn! Save! Invest!
written by James McKenna,
Jeannine Glista, and Matt Fontaine
If you have a bent toward entrepreneurship, this book includes chapters on setting financial goals, making a budget, getting a job, starting a business, and investing smartly. The authors include a one-page business plan template, a two-page plan to become a millionaire, and a personal budget tracker. Ready, set, go!
Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid
written by Mikaila Ulmer
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2020
Inspiration from a young entrepreneur who was stung by a bee and encouraged by her parents to learn more about bees so she wouldn’t be afraid of them. Moved by how important bees are to our ecosystem, Mikaila sold lemonade and donated the products to organizations dedicated to saving the bees. She began when she was four. Now that she’s fifteen, Me & the Bees Lemonade is sold around the country. Mikaila has met with Fortune 500 CEOs, secured a deal on Shark Tank, and visited the Obama White House. She shares her story, her confidence, and her tips and advice for budding entrepreneurs.
How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50
to Visit the Statue of Liberty
written by Nathan Zimelman
illustrated by Bill Slavin
Albert Whitman, 2017
When Susan Olson’s second-grade class spins up wild ideas to raise money for a trip to the Statue of Liberty, she fulfills her role as second-grade treasurer by recording the details of their efforts (adventures) under “Expenses” and “Profit.” The class does its best by collecting paper, running a lemonade stand, sitting babies, walking dogs, and selling candy. A humorous book with an economics lesson wrapped inside.
How YOU Can Be an Entrepreneur
written by Mark Cuban,
Shaan Patel, and Ian McCue
Diversion Books, 2018
From a lemonade stand to an Etsy art store, these three entrepreneurs walk kids through ten different start-ups that serve as models for businesses they can try if they’re inspired … or apply the steps and skills to their own dreams and ideas.
New Totally Awesome Business Book for Kids
written by Arthur Bochner, Rose Bochner, Adriane G. Berg
3rd edition, William Morrow, 2007
First written by Arthur Bochner when he was thirteen with help from his educator mom, Adriane G. Berg, this third edition was also written by Arthur’s younger sister, Rose. They offer ideas for twenty “super businesses you can start right now!” They offer advice on business budgets, record keeping and filing, telephoning and e‑mailing, using the internet to find information, negotiating, putting it in writing, marketing and advertising, networking, and human relations. The book includes cartoons, games, quizzes, riddles, and stories, making it fun to read.
written and illustrated by Paula Vásquez
Gibbs Smith, 2017
Lily doesn’t think like all the other sheep. She has her own ideas, her own ways of doing things. When she finds a loose bit of yarn, she lets her imagination take flight as she becomes a gymnast, a horse rider, and an expert at throwing a lasso. When her thoughts turn to helping others, her creativity shines brightly.
Billy Sure Kid Entrepreneur
invented by Luke Sharpe
illustrated by Graham Ross
Simon Spotlight, 2015
In this 12-book fiction series, budding entrepreneurs will be inspired by Billy Sure, the inventor of the All Ball and CEO of Sure Things, Inc. In the first book filled with illustrations of cool and wacky inventions, twelve-year-old Billy holds a contest for young inventors. Entries like No-Wash Socks and the Sibling Silencer make it a tough decision!
What a great theme for a book list! So many great books here I haven’t seen. I’m a huge fan of “What Do You Do With an Idea.”
Love this list! Thanks for including our series. What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur? is one of my favorites, I even give it to my adult friends who start businesses!