Looking for a way to get kids involved in drones, that doesn’t actually involve handing them a drone? Whether your kid isn’t mature enough to handle a drone yet, perhaps you simply don’t want to spend that much money on a kid, or maybe your kid already has a drone, drone children’s books can make an excellent gift for kids that inspires them to get into a STEM field — and perhaps the drone industry itself.
These days, there are plenty of drone children’s books to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a drone birthday gift, a drone Christmas gift, or just something to stock a school classroom with, you’ve got options to inspire kids with STEM stories. And some of these drone children’s books cost less than $10.
Here are my favorite drone children’s books of 2022, plus a bit more information about what’s inside, and what sort of audience each book might be best suited for:
The best drone book for budding photographers: The Adventures of Leonardo the Drone
“The Adventures of Leonardo the Drone” is a series of children’s books that launched this year, and the first book in the series, “Photos from the Sky” is centered around using a drone to enter a photography contest. While it’s great to pique the interest of budding photographers, it’ got a generally inspiring message for kids about not giving up when things get hard, but instead to think outside of the box and become even better.
If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve got a full “The Adventures of Leonardo the Drone” book review here.
Price: The paperback version is $9.90, or upgrade to the hardcover for $19.90. If you’re on a budget, or just don’t want physical stuff, there’s also a Kindle version for $3.90.
Where to buy: Amazon
A great drone children’s book series with international flair: Ariel & Friends
The folks over at non-profit WeRobotics have an incredible series of children’s books called “Ariel & Friends” that I love not just because they expose kids to drones, but also because they expose kids to stories of other countries. In reading this book, you’ll learn about drones for good, being put to work in use cases relevant to people from other countries who need to solve different challenges than what American kids might otherwise be aware of. And yes, Ariel is the name of the drone who reappears throughout the series.
The first book in the series, “The Magic of Mangroves,” tells the story of Claudia, a young girl from the indigenous community of Bocas del Toro in Panama, who is passionate about protecting her beautiful island after a dangerous storm with the help of Ariel. Another story highlights the “Flying Hospital” based on the Nepal Flying Labs, while yet another dubbed “the Big Birdie Count” is based on work from the Senegal Flying Labs.
Price: Available upon request (depending on order size and shipping location)
A children’s book series from the folks at Women and Drones: “Drone Girls”
Women and Drones is an online community that has a big presence in the drone industry. While the group does all sorts of work, its mostly notable for two big contributions to the drone industry:
1. Its annual Women to Watch in Drone awards, which recognizes deserved women for their contribution to the industry and most recently was held as part of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2022) conference in Las Vegas.
2. Its annual Drone Diversity Study, which exposes some of the weak points of the industry and provides context for ways hiring managers, conference organizers and more can work to improve diversity in drones.
But the founder of Women and Drones, Sharon Rossmark, is seeking to bring exposure to the drone industry early by way of her book series, which includes a coloring and activity book and a few storybooks including “Drone Girls And The Air Show Adventure” and “Drone Girls And The Wonders Of Whale Snot.” (There’s no affiliation with this Drone Girl). The books were cowritten by Sharon Rossmark and Wendy Erikson.
This book series is for all children, but it has a particular benefit of promoting women, and was written as part of Rossmark and Erikson’s mission to attract more girls to STEM subjects like aviation, through drones. The books offer real-life examples of women who are already succeeding in the drone industry.
Where to buy: Amazon
For readers in Australia: Pippa and Dronie
The folks over at Australia-based SheMaps have an incredible shop full of teaching resources for elementary school-aged kids, including plush animals, multiple books and even a “BIG book” version, designed for teachers to read in classrooms.
SheMaps, which was co-founded by Dr. Karen Joyce, provides drone and geospatial programs to teachers and schools across the globe. There are many free teaching resources, and they sell packs of equipment for STEM classes.
The group’s book series, Pippa and Dronie, highlights many use cases of drones as the duo travel around Australia. And this book series is far more than a book. There are other teaching resources like a character poster pack and other printables, as well as a block coding game called ‘Dronie,’ available on Apple and Google Play.
The challenge for U.S. readers. SheMaps typically does not ship individual books to the U.S. Contact them for more questions.
Where to buy: SheMaps online store
Beyond books, there are increasingly more kid-friendly drones out there on the market. If you’re ready to get your child flying a real drone, check out my guide to the Best Drones For Kids.
Are there any other drone children’s books out there that I missed, and that are worth sharing? There are many more that it was tough to narrow them all down on this list. But you can join in by dropping your recommendations in the comments below. Your comments help give all drone children’s book authors and illustrators out there some well-deserved recognition!