A child discovers that she has a special gift for spotting and solving engineering problems.
In her realistic illustrations, Weber emphasizes close-ups of the young inventor’s mobile expressions—and light bulbs going off overhead as she visits in turn each member of her mixed-race family. Light-skinned Wanda has no interest in joining her darker brother’s dance class, but inspiration strikes when she sees how cluttered the dressing room is, and she strings a clothesline that neatly gets all the loose clothing off the floor. Likewise, an aversion to bugs derails a mild wish to be a landscape designer like her mom, a black woman with hair in partial cornrows, but she concocts an effective squirrel barrier for a bird feeder with a disposable aluminum pan. She then joins her white dad in the kitchen and, after failing to separate egg yolks and whites by hand, thinks up a faster way that she later leverages into a science-fair project. Wanda’s technique of using a squeeze bottle to create a partial vacuum is feasible though not described (or very clearly depicted), but for budding experimenters eager to tackle this or other “problems” Pedersen concludes with a summary version of the scientific method.
Bright encouragement for young scientists and makers. (Picture book. 6-8)