365F: Inventions for Children (Solved!)

Can you please help me find a book I read at primary school??
I read it in 1985 or 86 (87 at the very latest) when I was in primary school in the UK.
I would have been 7 or 8 years old.
Book title: Possibly ‘Inventions for Children’ / ‘Top Secret Inventions for Children’ (but that’s just a guess, as I really don’t remember!)
Book description: It was a hardback picture book. Each page, which were mostly double page spreads I think, had roughly 2 to 3 fictional inventions on (all aimed at children).
Some of the inventions I can remember: an armoured vehicle for a child, driving down a street (narrowly missing a cat and a lamp post I think??). Some kind of periscope / binoculars that let you hide behind your desk in school without the teacher noticing (possibly in the shape of a boy sitting upright??). Some little booster rockets (disguised as decorative circular medals?) that went on your swimming trunks to make you swim faster.
I remember all / nearly all of the inventions having a cross-section / cutaway section to them, so you could see the internal mechanics.

That’s about all I can remember, it’s been driving me slightly crazy for years (having tracked down nearly all the other books I loved as a child already).
I will give you any more information if I can, just let me know! 

5 thoughts on “365F: Inventions for Children (Solved!)

  1. peter slight

    I also forgot to mention that all of the inventions are fictitious (I think!)
    There is also no protagonist or story narrative that I can recall, just fictional inventions.
    and the style of the illustrations was neither realistic nor too ‘cartoony’ – it was somewhere in between,
    they were also in full colour on every page, with a black pen outline.
    fingers crossed this rings a bell for someone?!

  2. peter slight

    I am still searching for this one, if anyone can help?

    I emailed my former primary school teacher (now retired for ten years) in the hope that he might remember it, unfortunately he doesn’t, but did say this:

    ‘I can’t help you much with the book of invention that you mention. It may have been a book by an Education publisher, such as Scholastic.’

    I think the illustrations were similar in style to the ones in the Janet and Allen Ahlberg books, which were very popular at the time, but it is not by them (I don’t think!)

    If anyone has any clues I would love to hear them!

  3. Mary R. Kiang

    Perhaps it’s Rodney “Rootle’s Grown-Up Grappler and Other Treasures from the Museum of Outlawed Inventions” by Chris Winn and Jeremy Beadle?
    Someone awhile ago was looking with a description similar to yours and this was the book. (See entry 311F of this site or search this site with the word ‘invention’.)

  4. peter slight

    Thank you so much Mary!!
    This is almost certainly it!!! 🙂
    I was very happy to see the cover again, especially after thinking about it, and looking for it for so long!
    Can’t wait to receive my copy now and re-read it 🙂


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