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Bright Sparks


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Product Details

About the Author

Owen O'Doherty is an architect who lives in Dublin with his family, including two inventive kids. He has over twenty years' experience working on all sorts of projects from small buildings to urban regenerations and has also taught urban design and architecture in Dublin and London. For the past nine years he has worked in Dublin City Council. This has included working on projects to develop skills and understanding of design and its role in innovation and improving our living environments. Bright Sparks is his first book.


I loved this book: you could find so much information. The pictures drew me into the different stories about inventions and amazing designs. The writer of the book is an excellent illustrator. I love the way he draws people and the colours and the layout on each page ... The best thing about this book is that you can open any page and instantly learn something new. Bright Sparks is not a book that you read all in one go, from cover to cover ... My sisters and me learned a lot about other brilliant women. We are really surprised and happy about how many cool things women have invented and discovered. Thanks Owen O'Doherty.

-- young reader Esme Rowley Quinn (aged 7, almost 8) * *

a fascinatingly informative book for both boys and girls, who O'Doherty hopes will be inspired to start discovering, creating and designing inventions of their own

-- Inis Magazine, January 2019 issue

go get inspired

-- Clare People

absolutely gorgeous ... enlightening all our daughters and sons ... will not go amiss in your school, class or library

-- Ryan Tubridy * The Ryan Tubridy Show, RTE Radio 1 *

Sure to satisfy your budding scientist, inventor or engineer, this book also provides a guide to inventing and innovation


a book I've come back to again and again

-- Sarah Webb * Sunday Business Post *

a useful addition for the science shelf of your class library

-- InTouch Magazine

From the lines in the middle of the road, an idea pioneered by Jane McCarroll in 1908, to present-day inventor Elif Bilfin, who in 2013 discovered a way of making biodegradable plastic from banana skins, this book is packed with fascinating facts. Each of the 50 inventions are carefully explained and illustrated by the author

-- Irish Independent

absolutely fascinating

-- Sarah Webb * RTE Radio 1's Sean O'Rourke Show *

as well as filling the many gaps in our appreciation and awareness of women inventors and designers, tips and encouragement are offered to would-be inventors

-- Irish Examiner

the perfect gift for a young enquiring mind ... fascinating ... should boost the self-confidence of all those bright girls out there who might be inclined to hide their light under a bushel

-- Tuam Herald

an inspiring new read and will encourage children to see that they can change the world


well explained, brief summaries of their work are placed alongside intriguing illustrations to give the reader a glimpse of these in an inspiring, delightful series of vignettes. This book answers many questions, and who knows, may just be the incentive for get your young entrepreneur going. An exceptional non-fiction book that will give not only information that will make you want to investigate further, but will fascinate and entertain for hours and hours

-- Fallen Star Stories

if you're on the lookout for inspiring reading materials for a younger audience, we have just the thing ... a moment of parenting genius ... this impressive hardback covers everything from the invention of the retractable dog lead to the coding structure of DNA

-- Sunday Business Post

having inspired young readers with accounts of past breakthroughs, O'Doherty then does something very important for bright sparks of the future. Through a series of inventing tips, he encourages curiosity, the identification of problems, and processes for solving challenges ... not to mention patenting the next big idea

-- Evening Echo

I think we will all get it, kids, adults, everyone!

-- Jenny Greene * 2fm's Nicky Byrne Show *

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