If Buildings Could Talk children's book reading toys

Nov 23, 2022


by Lillian Parker

The Little Gift Guide for Aspiring Architects, Engineers & Designers

Here at Little, most of us have enjoyed building, creating, and drawing for as long as we can remember. Items we played and connected with as children no doubt helped fuel our future passions, interests, and careers. It’s safe to say we have gone through thousands of colored pencils, LEGO bricks, and balsa wood pieces over the years. 

Recently we challenged our employees to reflect on those tried-and-true toys that helped shape us and share the newer things they wish they had experienced as a kid. We compiled the feedback and are thrilled to introduce the Little Gift Guide for Aspiring Architects, Engineers & Designers. 

From classic to cool, our team has rounded up a list of toy and book recommendations sure to spark creativity and imagination in even the smallest of creators this gift-giving season! 

For young readers…

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty

No one is a better builder than Iggy Peck. A New York Times bestselling picture book, Iggy Peck, Architect is an inspiring story about the power of teamwork and self-expression.

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Where some people see rubbish, Rosie Revere sees inspiration for her next gizmo. Rosie Revere, Engineer, is a bestselling picture book about pursuing our dreams and never giving up.

If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen

What would your house look like if an imaginative 8-year-old designed it? Vibrant illustrations and clever rhymes bring young Jack’s limitless creativity to life.

If Buildings Could Talk by Nikki Clinton

Buildings protect us, help us and inspire us. Have you ever wondered what they would say if they could talk? Illustrated by 12 designers at Little, If Buildings Could Talk invites young readers to imagine the conversations they might have with the architecture in their lives. All proceeds from book sales will go directly to local architecture and design mentoring programs aimed at fostering more diversity in the AEC industry.

Learn more about the making of If Buildings Could Talk and take a look inside the book!

A special thanks to writer and beloved former teammate Nikki Clinton as well as all of the illustrators who helped bring this book to life: Elaine O’Brien, Anh Tran, Darin Eng, Becca Bellamy, Devin Wiesler, Emma Wallace, Charles Todd, Thomas Carlson-Reddig, Danielle Baker, John Komisin, Ron Boozer, Jim Thompson, Aranya Mom, and Cory Hester.

For young builders…

LEGO Building Sets

LEGO is a tried-and-true favorite for good reason. With 90 years in the business of play, LEGO offers building kits for all ages, interests and budgets. Stretch your young one’s imagination with endless hours of play, and for more adept hands, try traveling the world through LEGO’s Architecture series.

Fun fact: The LEGO brick has been named “Toy of the Century” twice.


Build, click and stack Magna-Tiles to make any flat or 3D shape you can imagine. This set of 48 colorful, magnetic tiles encourages creativity and spatial reasoning skills in children as young as 3.

Fort Building Kit

With the Discovery Construction Fort kit, little architects can build the fort, tent, or castle of their dreams. This modular kit lets kids explore their building capabilities on their own and is perfect for simple toy projects to more elaborate structures.

Art-Chitect 3-D Home Model Building Kit

Dream, design and build your own 3D home model. This kit teaches creative design and professional drawing techniques while applying geometry skills, engaging the imagination and encouraging an interest in architecture. 

For young engineers…

Switcheroo Coding Crew

Preschoolers save the day the coding way with this 3-in-1 rescue robot who’s ready for early STEM fun. With simple buttons sized for little hands, the Switcheroo Coding Crew helps kids learn early STEM concepts—like coding—without screen time.

Rollercoaster Engineering Kit

Want to practice hands-on engineering and physics at home? Try building your own rollercoaster. This kit includes everything needed to build dozens of rollercoaster models, including step-by-step illustrated instructions.

Archi-TECH Electronic Smart House

Recommended for ages 8 and older, the Smart House construction kit combines wires, lights and building materials for hours of STEM play. This 62-piece set includes an activity book to guide young builders through dozens of construction and circuitry builds.

National Geographic Glow-in-the-Dark Marble Run

Build a twisting, turning marble run then race glow-in-the-dark marbles. Learn about motion and gravity and have hours of fun experimenting with different marble run builds to make marbles race faster or slower.

For young artists…


Create geometric designs on almost any smooth surface with Colorforms. A vinyl design toy, Colorforms have entertained young artists for generations with no clean-up required. This set includes 350 stick-on shapes in five colors.


Relax and play with color, scale and layering. For generations, the spirograph has provided a convenient and inexpensive way to create intricate geometric designs. This kit includes everything you need to get started.

My Comic Book Making Kit

Pow! Zap! Draw! This DIY comic book set might just be your action-packed dream come true. For ages 8+, use the formatted blank pages to create your story. Once complete, simply seal it in the pre-paid envelope and slip it into the mail. Soon you’ll receive your very own, professionally bound copy of your original comic book.

Primsacolor Colored Pencils

Smooth and easy to blend, Prismacolor colored pencils will help young illustrators practice blending, shading and layering. This set feature 23 highly pigmented soft-core pencils.


Lillian Parker

Lillian is the External Communications Manager on Little's Marketing Team. A self-proclaimed problem solver with insatiable curiosity, she strives to build meaningful relationships and foster creative talent. When she's not ogling her rescue pup, you can find Lillian telling stories, cheerleading her friends and binging true crime documentaries.

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