Books, Learning, Lists, Reviews

4 Super Cool STEAM Books That You Will Love

Today’s post features – well, as the title states – 4 Super Cool STEAM Books That You Will Love!! Each of these books are again part of my Cybils Awards reading. And I hope to catch up on that reading over this coming weekend. Thanksgiving weekend (seems so long ago already now) was busier than expected, and now as we deal with stricter stay-at-home orders in our area, I am looking forward to well, is it Christmas already? But first, my teenager will be turning 18!! I cannot believe how time flies so fast! This was intended to be a post-Thanksgiving post, but here we are, and it is post-New Year Christmas already!! Anyways, better late than never, and without any further comments, here are those….

4 Super Cool STEAM Books

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How We Got to the Moon

Book Info

Title: How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure
Author/Illustrator: John Rocco
Length: 264 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/STEM
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (October 6, 2020)
Age Range: 10 – 17 years (and up!)
Source: Local library (and soon hopefully, my own!)

My Thoughts

What It Is

How We Got to the Moon is a wonderful tribute to all the people and the science that made this event happen. So strap on your seatbelts as you rocket out of the world while diving into this brilliantly informative and visually stunning journey of how we – humans – got to the moon.

And it is also one of the finalists in the middle-grade nonfiction category for the Cybils Awards!! You can check out my blurb for this book here.

The How (I Felt)

John Rocco’s brilliantly magnificent detailed illustrations (using photographs and memorabilia) and present-tense narrative effortlessly manage to both inform and entertain the reader throughout.

This book is amazing, out-of-the-world so!! It

  • brilliantly informs – about the history of the race to outer space and to the moon, about the history of rocket science itself, and of course, the technology and the talents behind this
  • easily engages and retains the attention and the emotions of the reader. Despite it being a nonfiction book about how we got to the moon, the emotions of the people involved in this is easily passed on to the reader without being overly dramatic about it. While we all know who won each of those races, the narrative keeps the reader turning the pages to find out more
  • includes delightful snippets of information throughout that will keep readers of all ages looking for more, and they will not be disappointed
  • has artwork that John Rocco himself (re)created – each and every illustration that appears, in fact – with the right amount of details needed for this book. And the artwork is so stunning that it adds to the appeal of the book (which is already so…)

And one last comment, don’t let the daunting 246 pages size scare you; reading this book is like walking through a cool museum, and you will be surprised when you find yourself at the last exhibit (ummm, page) before you know it. Then you will find yourself wanting to tour it all over again, that is read it again..

Perfect Pairing

I have a whole bunch of space reads for young readers in this post earlier.

In Summary

Spectacular out-of-the-world read that informs and entertains all at once.

Get It Here

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Plasticus Maritimus

Book Info

Title: Plasticus Maritimus: An Invasive Species
Author: Ana Pêgo, Isabel Minhós Martins,
Illustrator: Bernardo P. Carvalho 
Length: 201 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Earth Sciences
Publisher: Greystone Kids (September 8, 2020)
Age Range: 12 – 18 years
Source: ebook from the publisher

My Thoughts

What It Is

A look at an invasive new species that is threatening, well, already taking over the planet. The author — biologist AnaPêgo — uses her personal experiences and work to show the impacts of plastic, and how each of us can work to address this urgent issue.  

The How (I Felt)

A brilliant take at this invasive invention that we as humans cannot seem to stop using, and then worse, disposing of in the worst possible ways – at the cost of our world.

The pencil/crayon artwork in bright colors lends that touch of whimsy and approachability to young readers, and grabs the attention of all readers. In addition, the photographs included add that needed touch of reality to this book with a message. Making this huge global issue kind of a personal one works wonderfully for this book, and adds to the emotional appeal to act upon this problem. The additional resources included at the end are worth a look as well.

Perfect Pairing

No Voice Too Small will work with this book for the youngest readers who want to read more about the plastics crisis, while Taking on the Plastics Crisis (another Cybils nominee that I am yet to review) will work for teens.

In Summary

A perfect balance of charm, whimsy, and the seriousness needed to convey the all important message of the invasive Plasticus Maritimus species! (And who wouldn’t love that name?)

Get It Here

Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

A Garden in Your Belly: Meet the Microbes in Your Gut

Book Info

Title: A Garden in Your Belly: Meet the Microbes in Your Gut
Author/Illustrator:  Masha D’yans 
Length: 32 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Biology
Publisher: Millbrook Press (October 6, 2020)
Age Range: 4- 9 years
Source: eReview copy from the publisher

My Thoughts

What It Is

This is what Eric Carle says of the book: “A Garden in Your Belly’s colorful world helped me wake up…This book is as powerful as it is beautiful!” And yes, that is an apt description of this stunningly vibrant look at our microbiome.

The How (I Felt)

Using a river as the metaphor, this full of color and vibrant book explores our microbiome. The fun, fanciful illustrations add to the straightforward, factual, and engaging narrative.

Both artwork and text combine to make this an age-friendly and visually appealing introduction to how our intestine works, how strongly these tiny organisms in our body impact us (both our physical and mental health), and how we can help this belly-garden. One example of this is in how the book emphasizes healthy eating, and that of avoiding “junk food,” by likening healthy food to care packages that enrich and junk food to pollutants.

Backmatter includes more information on the microbiome, a glossary, and cool gut facts.

Perfect Pairing

Another very similar, equally colorful read titled Gut Garden will also work well for young readers.

In Summary

A great way to introduce young readers to the inner workings of our body, specifically the fascinating microbiome!! Must read and a visual treat as well..

Get It Here

Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

Who Gives a Poop?: Surprising Science from One End to the Other

Book Info

Title: Who Gives a Poop?: Surprising Science from One End to the Other
Author: Heather L. Montgomery 
Illustrator: Iris Gottlieb
Length: 176 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC(Sept 8, 2020)
Age Range: 10 – 14 years (and up)
Source: Library copy

My Thoughts

What It Is

As the title says, this book talks about the science of poop. This narrative nonfiction packed with humor and loaded with information guides readers through its topic in an engaging, entertaining manner and provides plenty of food for thought too (I know!!)

The How (I Felt)

Surprisingly great read about poop. Granted, since this is about poop, there are sentences, paragraphs, and whole pages that might make you go ‘eww!’ But then there is that gripping fascination about the information presented that makes you want to keep reading, as you go – ‘really!’, or ‘wow’, or ‘i didn’t know that!’ and more.

Each chapter talks about a different aspect of, well – poop, and you can read the book in any order. When I reached the end of the book, I was armed with a whole load of really useful facts and information – not just about human and animal waste, but about the world itself.

Clever wordplay and puns always manage to hook me in; and the witty chapter titles ranging from ‘Stool to Fuel‘ to ‘Poop and Prejudice‘ were perfect examples of that wordplay I adore. Enlightening, extensive footnotes, and the simply brilliant backmatter (there is so much of it that it can be a book in its own right!) enrich this book like really high-quality fertilizer! That brilliant backmatter includes an author’s note, suggested activities, examples of what people are doing around the world, a wasteful vocabulary list, the potential of poo (or as the book notes, poo-tential!), and more!!

Perfect Pairing

While I am yet to read it, Poop Happened!: A History of the World from the Bottom Up sounds perfect to pair with this.

In Summary

Not to be missed read of fecal fun and facts; for all ages!! And sure to turn reluctant readers into ravenous readers, despite the conent of the book.

Get It Here

Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

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4 Super Cool STEAM Books That You Will Love

Linking these books @ It’s Monday, What Are You Reading over at TeachMentorTexts

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, STEAM is certainly a topic I love to promote, pursue, and passionately recommend to others. As someone with a background in software, and with loads of love for how things work, these books were each equally fascinating for me, regardless of their target audience. And I am sure you will enjoy them too, or definitely find someone who will be thrilled to delve into these pages and learn while being entertained. So go ahead, get a book or gift one this new year!!

And as always, your comments and recommendations are always welcome!

24 thoughts on “4 Super Cool STEAM Books That You Will Love

  1. That’s so funny about your Thanksgiving turned Christmas turned post-New Year post. Oh my, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s had life get in the way of my blogging plans. I have How We Got to the Moon on my list and sure hope we get a copy soon! And I’m adding A Garden in Your Belly to my list, as well. Oh my, Who Gives a Poop is a fantastic title to attract my pre-teen and teen kiddos! LOL Thanks for all these wonderful shares, Vidya!

    1. thank you so much Shaye.. love reading your comments.. And I find myself glad as well to see I am not alone.. I hope to do some catching up on reviews this month so I can get to a schedule by the next month..
      And yes, Who Gives a Poop kept me laughing and totally intrigued throughout…

  2. These books sound fascinating and informative, especially Plasticus Maritimus. Thank you so much for the wonderful post!

  3. If I was still working in my school library and not retired, I would purchase all these books. While reading your reviews I was thinking about students I knew who would have loved them.
    I sure wish my public library had A Garden in Your Belly: Meet the Microbes in Your Gut. I might have to request they purchase it.

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