Ruby Reads Books

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street: Resources for Reading

Books about Rube Goldberg and simple machines

We love the Vanderbeekers! This family has fun doing everything from baking to creating machines to water their plants. Keep the fun going with some of these activities:


Create your own Rube Goldberg machine!

Be inspired by some creative videos that incorporate Rube Goldberg machines. Maybe you’ll find something you can use in your own machine!


Here’s a Sesame Street clip about combining simple machines to create a Rube Goldberg machine.


Here’s a music video that incorporates a huge Rube Goldberg machine!


You might like to read some of our favorite books about simple machines and Rube Goldberg machines.


Books about simple machines and Rube Goldberg

Simple Machines by D.J. Ward, illus. by Mike Lowery

Simple Machines by Dana Rau Meachen

Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea by Anna Humphrey

Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines by Sarah Aronson, illus. by Robert Neubecker

Crazy Contraptions: Build Rube Goldberg Machines that Swoop, Spin, Stack and Swivel by Laura Perdew, illus. by Micah Rauch

Simple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys by David A. Adler, illus. by Anna Raff

Make some Vanderbeekers-inspired cookies!


We love these double-chocolate pecan cookies, and they’re great as a read-aloud snack! 



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