Top Ten STEM Picture Books for Young Readers
All children can benefit from an increased understanding of concepts from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, commonly referred to as STEM. Schools are preparing children for an increasingly STEM-driven workforce. Additionally, STEM is everywhere; its core concepts run through all of our everyday lives.
As a parent or educator of a young child, you can start introducing STEM to children very early on in their reading life. Reading picture books that tell a story with STEM is a great place to start. Good storybooks provide a meaningful context for learning STEM concepts, serving as a launching point for further investigation.
It’s important to remember that reading picture books with children should always be enjoyable. I’ve found that the best STEM books introduce concepts naturally, stimulating a curiosity without overwhelming the story. Much like choosing any other picture book, look for well-written books with great illustrations. Here are some of my favourites:
Stamp, Stamp, by Eom Mi-Rang: An early introduction to geometrical shapes.
Shrinking Mouse, by Pat Hutchins: A fun exploration of how distant objects vary in size.
The Doorbell Rang, by Pat Hutchins: Each time the doorbell rings, there are more people to share Ma’s cookies. An introduction to division (...and the harsh realities of life).
Big Bug, by Henry Cole: A beginning book on size comparison with fantastic illustrations.
Building a House, by Byron Barton: A concise step-by-step guide on all that's involved in building a house.
My Five Senses, by Aliki: A fun demonstration on how we use each of our five senses.
Max’s Math, by Kate Banks: One for slightly older children (Grade 1 and above, I'd say) that highlights several skills in arithmetic.
Mouse Paint, by Ellen Walsh: A classic that explores the world of colour and colour-mixing.
The Three Bears, by Cecil Kim: Another great one for size comparison that serves to build comparative vocabulary.
What Shape is the Moon?, by Bo-hyeon Seo: An examination of moon shapes and a basic introduction to the lunar cycle.