Last week I suggested a science activity, Galaxy Slime, as a spring break activity, and this week I'm suggesting books for spring break. Almost a year ago (eek, that's too long!) I created a reading list, recommending books for girls (and boys), ages preteen to teen, to get them interested in STEM. That list is here: Reading List. It was based off of what I read at that age and how those books influenced in some way my career path to engineering. Today, there are many Middle Grade and Young Adult (preteen to teen) books that have STEM in them (for example "Hidden Figures For Young Readers") that were not included in my recommendations. Again, my recommendations were based off of my own experience.
I've created a second reading list, this time focusing on preschoolers to about 2nd graders. The books I remember loving at this age were Berenstain Bears series, Clifford the Big Red Dog series, Curious George series, Madeline series, Frances series (i.e. A Bargain for Frances), and Imogene's Antlers. With the exception of Curious George, I really liked books that had girls as main characters. Probably because I could myself reflected in those female characters. Some of those girls were spunky: Imogene, Madeline, Sister Bear (at least when she was fighting with Brother Bear) and Frances. And Curious George? While he encouraged curiosity in me (and spunk; that might have been a theme for me).
With that all said, the books I'm recommending for this second reading list (to encourage preschoolers to 2nd graders in STEM) are more current picture book. Of course, feel free to read the classics mentioned in the paragraph above, but these recent books are specifically focused on STEM. It's a short list-- I envision I'll have many more lists as my son grows and as other parents, teachers, grandparents and friends make recommendations to me.
Here we go:
1) "Rosie Revere, Engineer" by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated by David Roberts
This book is my favorite STEM book for pre-K to 2nd! I dream of writing such book. The author (and illustrator) have 2 companion books, "Iggy Peck, Architect" and "Ada Twist, Scientist", but to me this is the best one of the series (probably because she's spunky and an engineer).
2) "What Do You Do with an Idea?" By Kobi Yamada and Illustrated by Mae Besom
Kobi also has another book "What Do You Do with a Problem?" but I prefer this book. One of my nephew's wants to be an inventor, and I just had to give him this book.
3) Usborne's "Look inside How Computers Work" Written by Alex Frith and Rosie Dickins and Illustrated by Colin King
Usborne has a lot of good science, technology, computer, engineering type books, but this book is the one we own. Jack loves lifting the flaps at age 2 (I think he'll appreciate the information soon enough).
4) "The Most Magnificent Thing" by Ashley Spires
Also great for budding inventors.
5) "Chicken in Space" by Adam Lehrhaupt
Found this book pretty funny, and (to me) shows where imagination meets science.
6) Sweet Dreams Sarah: From Slavery to Inventor by Vivian Kirkfield and Illustrated by Chris Ewald
The story of Sarah B. Goode, one of the first African-American women to get a US patent. It's on Jack's to read list!
7) "Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering" by Ruth Spiro and Illustrated by Irene Chan
Fun book to introduce planes and flight to preschoolers (and babies).
And finally, *shameless self-promotion alert* I recommend "Annie Aardvark, Mathematician." What recommendations would you make? Leave a comment here or on social media. I'd love to discover more STEM books for children. Happy spring break! Happy reading!
(I'll have to work on a list for 3rd-6th graders next. There's some overlap from the preteen recommendations, but I'll get on it. In about year. ;-)).