Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 7
- Grade: k to 2
A STEM book for young innovators everywhere, for you are never too small to dream big! This much-anticipated companion to Ara The Star Engineer spotlights the innovation journey, introducing readers to what it takes to start a start-up, and turn ideas into reality.
Ara is a young girl who loves to dream BIG. Many of her amazing ideas come to her in her dreams. So Ara builds a Dream Decoder to capture them. But other kids have big dreams too. What about them? With help from her entrepreneur-mentors and her droid DeeDee (who dreams of - beep! beep! - BIG ice creams), Ara embarks on a quest to make her Dream Decoder FTW - For The World! First stop: a Hackathon to find a diverse team of fellow thinkers and tinkerers. Then - fingers crossed - they'll earn a spot at an Accelerator where, with tweaks and testing, they can make the Dream Decoder work for all kids.
A story about inclusive innovation, and making your dreams come true!
About the authors
Komal Singh is a techie by day and a storyteller mom by night - one who loves coding and cupcakes, data crunching and day dreaming, pottery making and program planning. This is her second book about Ara's STEM adventures. The first, Ara the Star Engineer was inspired by her 4-year-old daughter's hypothesis that "engineers are boys". Singh is passionate about using technology as an enabler and an equalizer for all. Komal grew up in India and studied Computer Science at Delhi University and later moved to Canada to complete her Masters' degree in C.S from Simon Fraser University. She has worked as a software engineer with tech consulting firms and is currently an Engineering Program Manager at Google. Komal lives in Waterloo, Canada, with her husband and two little kids.
Ipek Konak is a former art director and illustrator for an animation post-production company. She has worked as a freelancer for the last several years for companies such as Oxford University Press, London-based Nucco Brain and was a guest artist for Google Doodles. She has a fine arts degree in animation from Anadolu University, and she lives in Turkey.
Praise for the Ara Series:
"We've always said “If she can see it, she can be it'. With this story, girls can see leaders and be inspired to become one. A book for all ages and genders!"
- Geena Davis, founder and chair of Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
"Ara and her friends are more than just characters; they are models for girls and boys to follow, if they are curious about the world — and want to build a better one."
- Eric Schmidt, former executive chair and CEO of Google
"Ara's story can inspire a whole new generation of girls to become engineers, coders, or computer scientists. Our world needs more girls like Ara."
- Hadi Partovi, CEO of Code.org
"Stories help us understand ourselves, each other and the world around us. In a more and more technical world we need stories like Ara's to help us bring up the next generation of problem solvers."
- Linda Liukas, author of the Hello Ruby series
"The world needs more girls in tech and curious, young Ara provides a delightful entry point. This book is a beautifully illustrated adventure highlighting diverse, real-life engineer role models sure to inspire future STEM stars."
- Debra Sterling, CEO of GoldieBlox
"This book is beautifully drawn and supports a great cause! It is so important to encourage our young girls to become leaders in STEM fields - and this book does just that. A great bedtime story for any little engineer-to-be."
- Rachel Ignotofsky, author of Women in Science and Women in Sports
"We need to fill girls' lives with images and stories of women excelling in STEM. This book shows girls there is a place for them in the tech world and that their voices matter. We will be recommending this book as a staple."
- Jennifer Flanagan, president and CEO of Actua
"Ara explores the world behind the technology we use every day. Through this, kids can see how they can build the technology around them, not just use it."
- Makinde Adeagbo, founder of /dev/color