Book Review: Erno Rubik and his Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya

by Julia DeKorte | 30 Jun 2024

Book Reviews

Ernő Rubik and his Magic Cube


Ernő Rubik and his Magic Cube was written by Kerry Aradhya and illustrated by Kara Kramer. It artfully and colorfully tells the story of the creation of the most popular puzzle in the world: Rubik’s Cube. Created by the Hungarian inventor and professor of architecture at the Budapest College of Applied Arts, Ernő Rubik invented the puzzle not out of the desire to create a puzzle, but to solve one of his own.


Aradhya started from the beginning: with Ernő’s childhood. She describes him as a boy most fascinated with how things work, with a particular interest in geometric shapes. He grew up to become a professor, and one day, while trying to think of a way to teach his students about 3D objects, he thought to design a cube out of smaller cubes that could move around one another while still maintaining the cube shape. For weeks and weeks, he worked with different materials, finally getting it to work after observing the way water moves around rocks in a river. And while he was simply happy to have a new tool to teach with, he inadvertently created one of the most well-known puzzles in the world.


The picture book is filled with color and really unique illustrations. Kramer creatively used geometric shapes throughout her drawings to tie in the content of the story, but it’s not all clean lines and right angles. Kramer also opted for a sketch-like style of illustration, which helped to convey the creativity and curiosity that went into the design of the Rubik’s Cube. While now it’s mass-produced to support the timeless demand, the very first was made by hand—it came from sketches and pieces of wood that Ernő cut and sanded himself. This is especially impactful for the young audience of Ernő Rubik and his Magic Cube, who just may be inspired to create something themselves, beginning with a pen and paper.


Overall, this is a wonderful read for young children who are also curious about how the world works, who are fascinated by shapes, and love to solve puzzles. It’s an inspiring read for future inventors that love to create—be it through drawing or coloring, building with LEGOs, or clicking together Magna-Tiles to build different shapes and structures. This book will help develop and encourage creativity in any child who reads it.


Kerry Aradhya is a science writer, editor, and a dancer. She has a way with words, which is how this book came to be, but shockingly enough, she has yet to solve more than one side of a Rubik’s cube! Kara Kramer is a seasoned illustrator, having worked on titles such as Make Meatballs Sing: The Life and Art of Corita Kent.  

rubik's cube

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