Fascinating STEM Picture Books
How Many? A Different Kind of Counting Book by Christopher Danielson
Added to: The Best Counting Books for Kids
A Trapezoid Is Not a Dinosaur by Suzanne Morris
If you love funny books that are punny and that make learning fun, you’ll love this picture book. These shapes are putting on a play. They mistake the trapezoid for a dinosaur (an easy mistake, right?) and won’t let him participate. Because obviously there are no parts for dinosaurs in a play about outer space. The shapes brag their qualities (sides, angles, etc.) meaning kids will also learn the properties of each shape, too. Kids will laugh their way through this silly, educational story– don’t miss it.
Added to: Picture Books About Shapes
The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat
How do you make fractions interesting? Well, it involves four animal friends including an OCD hippo who can’t stop breaking the cookies in half, three cookies, and a lot of hysteria! This is a fantastic STEM math picture book with cartoon-like illustrations written for beginning readers.
Charlotte The Scientist Is Squished by Camille Andros, illustrated by Brianne Farley
Superlative Birds by Leslie Bulion illustrated by Robert Meganck
Look at the illustration then read the lovely poem and science notes about each of the different birds. Birds that walk on water like the jacana marsh bird from Mexico or the peregrine falcon whose “bold spirit embodies the shape of speed.” If you’re studying nature or birds or poetry, this book will be a worthy addition.
Added to: Beautiful Bird Books for Kids
Pigeon Math by Asia Citro, illustrated by Richard Watson
Hilarious! Addition and subtraction never felt so fun!! An increasingly exasperated narrator is TRYING to tell the story about ten pigeons but it’s not going well. Visual support, goofy humor, and plenty of kid-appeal make this a 100% must-own, must-read STEM picture book.
Princesses of Bread (Tantan Math Stories) by She Shil Kim, illustrated by Eun Hwa Jung
The Queen of Bread becomes ill, requesting that her daughters take over the Kingdom’s bread making. But the princess have no idea how much of each ingredients to use. Until their Fairy Godmother shows them a recipe with precise measurements. Using a ruler, a measuring cup, and a scale helps the daughters save the Kingdom’s export of bread production. Use this lovely STEM picture book folktale to teach kids about measuring tools — then play with them yourselves.
Not a Bean by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, illustrated by Laura Gonzalez
Atmospheric and playful, follow this counting story about a seedpod in the high desert. A seedpod that is not a Mexican Jumping Bean. In fact, it’s a caterpillar burrowed into a seedpod. As the seedpod dries and hardens, clicks and clacks and jumps. The book elaborates on the flora and fauna of the desert such as snakes, coyotes, and cacti using Spanish words throughout — dos saguaros, el sol, tres cascabeles, and cinco cuervos. (A glossary in the back will help readers learn the Spanish words.) Finally, a majestic moth burrows out of the “Not a Bean” and flies into the sky.
Caterpillar and Bean A First Science Storybook by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Hannah Tolson
This is the story of a seed wedged in a crack in the ground that swells with the rain. See how the root pushes out the shoots and leaves. This is also the story of a caterpillar who hatches from an egg, eats and eats the leaves of the plant, and turns into a beautiful butterfly. You’ll enjoy the enthusiastic, lyrical story which develops several naturalist topics including seed and plant growth and the life cycle of a butterfly in this latest nonfiction picture book in Martin Jenkin’s First Science Storybook series.
Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Micha Archer
Look at spring in a completely new way! This book writes “equations” that will inspire readers to see the unique possibilities in writing like this. I suggest using this book as a writing prompt to integrate STEM with literacy. Here are a few examples:
snowman – cold = puddle
riverbanks + otters = playground
deer + tree = umbrella
talons + pond = fast food
Each equation is accompanied by a short exposition on the subject. “In spring, bald eagles that wintered down south fly north again. On their way to the northern United States and Canada, they swoop down to scoop up tasty fish dinners.” ADDED TO: Best Picture Books About Spring.
How to Avoid the Fearsome Cat (Tantan Math Stories) by Yoon Jeong Choi, illustrated by Hyun Kyeong Shim
Worried about the Fearsome Cat, the mice vote on what to do, sorting themselves into two lines. As they debate and decide, the mice use different types of graphing to determine what type of thing will help warn them of the cat’s arrival. In the end, these clever mice give a wrapped bell to the old lady puts it right on her handsome cat. Now whenever they hear the jingle, jingle, the mice rush to safety. Engaging follow up questions will help children see how the mice used graphs to make decisions.
Gus’s Garage by Leo Timmers
Calling all tinkerers!! (Is that a word?) Gus’s friends visit him with their various problems. Rico needs a bigger seat on his scooter, Gina needs a warmer neck in her car (she’s a giraffe), Miss P. needs refrigeration, and so on. So Gus uses the materials in his full garage to build solutions for his friends! Gorgeous illustrations & inspiring inventions for STEM inventors.
Peg & Cat The Lemonade Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson PBS Kids
Peg is so excited to sell lemonade for marbles. (She loves marbles.) She and Cat learn all about pricing so people will buy, bartering to get what they need, and always problem-solving. Talk about a fun lemonade stand adventure, even if it doesn’t make any money! Great for entrepreneurs and budding mathematicians.
Five Minutes by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
See the truth about five minutes…it is both too slow and it is too fast. Because time can be tricky! Five minutes is an eternity when waiting in a line. But it’s too short when looking at puppies. “Five minutes is too soon. // Five minutes is not soon enough.” Who else can relate? Won’t this book prompt lots of good discussions about time?
Vivi Loves Science by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes, illustrated by Joelle Murray
Vivi loves science and being curious. When her class gets to go the ocean for a field trip, she learns many new, wonderful things about tide pools.
Libby Loves Science by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes, illustrated by Joelle Murray
Libby loves science and experiments with recipes and experiments at school. Chemistry reminds her of cooking. At the science fair, she and her classmates need to attract more people to the booth to show that science is fun but their experiments don’t win them the prize of an ice cream party. Their teacher reminds them that it’s about trying, not winning.
Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers 40+ Things to Invent, Draw, and Make by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
This is an excellent, engaging activity book based on the fantastic STEM Rosie Revere, Engineer picture book. Colorful illustrations and a cool layout will entice readers to try, fail, and learn in this new STEM activity book for budding engineers like Rosie. Learn about simple machines, build a marble run, solve engineering challenges, design a stuffed animal carrier for your bike, learn about inventors who failed a lot, and so much more.
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino
Easily understandable readers will read how snow is made from a speck to the snow crystal that falls to earth and beyond. Peaceful blue and white illustrations plus interesting information make this an enlightening winter read.