Layla and the Bots: Sneak Peek and STEAM Activities

Guest Blogger  //  Apr 9, 2020

Layla and the Bots: Sneak Peek and STEAM Activities

This is a guest blog post from Vicky Fang, author of Happy Paws: A Branches Book (Layla and the Bots #1)


I’m the author of the forthcoming Layla and the Bots early chapter book series, illustrated by Christine Nishiyama. Layla is an awesome rockstar/inventor with a band of Bots: Beep, Boop, and Bop. Together, they help people they meet at their shows by designing and building fantastic inventions!

I’m so excited about this series and I can’t wait to share it with the world! I started writing children’s books to inspire and empower kids in STEAM, particularly girls and minorities. In my career as a product designer at places like Google and Intel, I’ve had so much fun creating things like DIY robots, buildings that play music, and games you can play with your voice. For me, technology is magical, and I want kids to be able to see that too! My hope is for my books to inspire computer literacy in all kids—while inviting their imaginations to run wild with STEAM possibilities.

It is my pleasure to share this video of a few chapters of the first book in the series, Happy Paws. In this book, Layla and the Bots must save their local amusement park—by redesigning it for dogs! I’ve also created an activity sheet that walks kids through a simple design thinking exercise to invite them to design their very own amusement ride for dogs.

This basic design thinking process can be applied and explored by readers anywhere and everywhere! Identify a problem/need and brainstorm some invention ideas. How might you pick the lemons off the tree? How might you help your little brother wash his hands? How might your bed make itself in the morning? Draw a picture of your invention or build a cardboard prototype! Sometimes an idea can even be inspired by an odd piece of cardboard or an empty box: Build a proton pack, design a cardboard car, create a suit of armor, or make a miniature house! It’s up to you.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this sneak peek of Layla and the Bots. And as it says on the back cover:

Think it. Build it. Rock out!

-Vicky Fang

Check out Vicky reading an excerpt from Happy Paws below!

Design your own amusement ride for dogs with this activity sheet!

Download the activity sheet here