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I was recently given a copy of The Thing About Swings to review, and after my first quick read through, I couldn’t wait to share this adorable book with my kids and with you. With its themes of self-confidence, learning to question status-quo, and a focus on the engineering design process, I knew this would be a great book for my family.

The Thing about Swings is written by Motivate Design CEO Mona Patel and illustrated by Thomas Christensen. Mona writes an engaging story about an elephant who wants to use the swings, but they are too small. So, the elephant begins to design a better swing.

The elephant and her friends go through an engineering design process to brainstorm ideas and dream about what a better swing would look like. One friend, the skunk, doesn’t think that swings should change and doesn’t support the new ideas. But it doesn’t stop the other friends from questioning, dreaming, and building a better swing.

I enjoyed the strong design and engineering themes in this book. The friends go through a design process similar to what an engineer might do when designing a new product. After the friends brainstorm, they test out new materials and start building.

It is awesome that this book is introducing my kids to engineering thinking and design. But beyond the engineering theme, I thought this book is great because it is also teaching my kids about self-confidence and to not set limits for themselves. Just because something is one way, it doesn’t always have to remain that way. They are learning that it is ok to question, challenge, and find a better way.

My kids loved the group of adorable animal characters featured in the book. There is an elephant, skunk, monkey, and two warthogs. My son said the warthogs were his favorites, and my daughter loved all the characters.

Part of the description on the back cover of the book says, “Our hope is that kids also learn to question, dream and design a better world.” Yes, I’d love that to happen for my kids too.

Proceeds from sales of The Thing About Swings go to supporting E School 4 Girls, a non-profit organization that gives under-served girls access to education and empowers them to become confident leaders and entrepreneurs. I love that this is a great book, and purchasing helps support a worthy cause.

If you’re interested in purchasing The Thing About Swings for your kids or as a gift, you can find it on Amazon by clicking here.

Have you read The Thing About Swings yet? Does this sound like a book you’d be interested in getting for your child?


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