Books, Family, Learning, Reviews, Technology

Book Reviews: STEM Books from Andrea Beaty, David Roberts

Discover half a dozen books in today’s post – Wonderful, empowering STEM books from the talented duo of Andrea Beaty and David Roberts. Read on….

Today’s post features three books (actually, six) that feature STEM so wonderfully, with fun rhyming text and marvelously detailed and cool illustrations. The duo of Andrea Beaty and David Roberts make these books a wonderful must-read set. Keeping it in sync with the reviews so far for this challenge month, I am including books that I loved and enjoyed (some in spite of a few cons)

For the first three STEM books, book info is below:

Author: Andrea Beaty
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher:  Harry N. Abrams
Type: STEM books; juvenile fiction
Age Range: 5 – 7 years (5 years and up)
Hardcover: 32 pages

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STEM books: Book One: Iggy Peck, Architect:

First up is Iggy Peck, Architect.Iggy Peck STEM books

My Thoughts:

My brother is an architect, and a truly talented one too, I must say. And this is not a loving sister’s opinion, but a honest reviewer’s! You can check his work out and decide for yourself.

And that is one reason that any book highlighting architects or architecture catches my eye without fail. This one was no exception, and I am glad I found it. Iggy Peck is a prodigy, and by the time he was three, his parents knew his love for building buildings was there to stay! From a tower of (eew stinky) diapers when he was but two to that grand structure he built to remove his teacher’s aversion to buildings, Iggy’s love for architecture reaches out through the pages to the reader.Iggy Peck architect STEM

Fun rhymes make this a great read-aloud book. While there are rhymes that might make you wonder, take a breath right there, pause, and continue to read on! It almost seems that those off or longer lines were put there for that reason – a dramatic pause! And the marvelous illustrations (and on graph paper too!) want me to put pen on paper myself.

Top marks for ensuring and including a diverse set of characters and for the creativity in the things used for building the structures throughout the book. If you observe closely, you will see Ada and Rosie as well among the students in Iggy’s class. Last, but not the least, I loved the costumes and the hairdos displayed – vintage yet modern because of the style of drawing! And this in spite of the fact that I am nowhere near a fashion afficiando.

In Summary:

A wonderful addition to home and classroom libraries to encourage love for different professions, and to show that you should always pursue your dreams, no matter what.

Rating: 5/5
Reading Level: 5 years and up
Reread Level: 4/5

Buy it on Amazon

Order it from Book Depository

STEM books: Book Two: Rosie Revere, Engineer:

The second one in the series is Rosie Revere, Engineer.Rosie Revere Engineer STEM

My Thoughts:

Rosie is a shy girl, fearful of showing what she can do because she has been mocked at before for her inventions, and also because she is afraid of failure. But Rosie is brilliant. Every night, she secretly works on building crazy contraptions and inventions using items she has collected during the day. Every night, she hides it away. It all changes with the arrival of her great-great-aunt Rose.  And what Rosie does next is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Extra points for:

  • Quotable Quotes like : ‘The only true failure can come if you quit.’ ‘Before it crashed, Rosie…before that…it flew’
  • Historical Note included at the end which references women in WWII and Rosie the Riveter (the inspiration for great-great-aunt Rose)
  • Diversity and the overall message of the book

Cons: Poor Rosie gets laughed at a couple of times when she shows her inventions (while this was why Rosie became a secretive engineer, it still was sad). One part of the story seemed to just skip a page – while the rhyming flow continued smoothly, the story seemed to have an abrupt gap but it was OK in the grand scheme of this book. And like in Iggy, some rhymes need a pause at the right time to ensure a wonderful read-aloud story and that can be accomplished in one read.Rosie Revere Engineer STEM

In Summary:

Overall, in spite of the cons, a powerful book, just like its inspiration.

Rating: 4.5/5
Reading Level: 5 years and up
Reread Level: 4/5

Buy it on Amazon

Order it from Book Depository

STEM books: Book Three: Ada Twist, Scientist:

The most recent one in this series is Ada Twist, Scientist.ada twist scientist STEM books

My Thoughts:

Ada is a little girl who never said a word until she was three, and her first word – ‘Why?’ It was like a dam of questions broken loose, a Pandora’s box of curiosity within her. She continues asking questions of the how, what, when, where, and who, and returning to why, and then all over again. And her parents are totally unsure how to answer her questions.

When she is confronted with one smelly problem, she experiments, applies scientific reasoning, and tries to find the answer to the mystery behind the smell. In the process, it is utter chaos everywhere. This ends up with her in the ‘Thinking Chair’, and she does just that – think, and think some more. Her thoughts pour out into writings on all possible surfaces, and yes (more messes). Her parents finally sit down together with her to help her discover answers to her questions. And that smelly problem? It remains a question but we did learn a lot about asking, and experimenting, and eliminating what is not right – so that is good!Ada Twist Andrea Beaty STEM books

In Summary:

Another powerful STEM book to have which celebrates diversity, and empowerment.

Rating: 5/5
Reading Level: 5 years and up
Reread Level: 4/5

Buy it on Amazon

Order it from Book Depository

Additional Positive Review Comments for All the Above Books:

I loved that the books include a diverse set of characters, free of stereotypes. Based on the fact that all the kids featured so far are in Miss Lila Greer’s classroom, I am hoping for more books in this series with the remaining kids(?!).

I also loved that the parents/adults featured in all these books, while initially being bewildered, confounded, or simply over-whelmed with the curiosity of their kids, realize that their kids are not ‘bad’ in any way, but brilliant and curious and smart. They become a supporting system to promote theirs kids’ passions and that is so heartwarming to read.

Remember that when the rhyming gets tough, the tough pause to make it fun!

The illustrations – there is so much to discover in the details, the fine print matters here. So look close at them and you will end up with so many more topics to discuss. For example, the scribblings on Ada’s wall, the building Iggy builds, the books they all read, the gizmos built in Rosie’s books. Look closer!

Both Ada Twist and Rosie Revere include an author’s note at the back page, which adds to the empowering nature of the book. Ada Marie Twist owes her name to two women who are famous in their own right – Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie. Rosie’s book references the WWII as mentioned earlier, and women’s role in the same.rosie the riveter

STEM books: Book 4 – 6: The Companion Project Books Reviews:

For the three companion project STEM books, book info is below:

Author: Andrea Beaty
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher:  Harry N. Abrams
Type: STEM books; juvenile fiction
Age Range: 5 – 7 years (5 years and up)
Hardcover: 96 pages

And now the short review for the amazingly awesome companion series for these books.

So, EXTRA points for the fact that each of the books in the series has a companion book of projects that kids can try out. Each companion book is truly amazing and I am enjoying going through it myself. I wish my kids were just a bit younger so this would work perfectly to keep them occupied, oh so, usefully, after reading aloud the original book to them. It includes:

  • The story of the person it features, in prose along with some of the illustrations from the book.
  • Items needed for the projects.
    • Tips on what items, or as each of them call these items- ‘treasures’, are needed for your projects, where you can find them and how to keep them organized (so you can find them when you need them, and of course so the adults are happy too!)
  • Fun facts and cool data.
    • Iggy – concepts of architecture – the bare minimum of course, how plans for buildings look, different types of buildings/architecture, facts about architects, and more
    • Rosie – types of engineers, design process, facts about inventions and famous engineers/inventors (including Edison and Rube Goldberg) and so much more
    • Ada – the basics of scientific method, exploring different sciences (physical, chemical, biological), facts about scientists and the questions they asked, and more
  • Super-duper challenges to work on, on paper and by building/making with the treasures you collected.
  • Real world problems to brainstorm, and big ‘what-if’ or imagine (what if you lived on the moon type) questions to discuss
  • Ideas for many more projects with step by step instructions to complete them. Activities vary from the simple to the complex. Some can be completed within a couple of hours, while others need to be done over time using skills of observation to note changes.
  • Helpful definitions are provided throughout to help with understanding the concepts where needed.

In Summary:

This series – the books and their companion project books – are a wonderful addition to every child’s library. And it empowers you with a better, funner understanding of Science, Math, ART – Makes you SMARTer!

More Activities To Do With These Books:

Check out these links here, here, and here for more activities related to these books.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All these books were acquired by me, either from the library or for myself, to read, enjoy, and review for you!

Question to you, dear readers: Which one of these is your favorite? Let me know. Do you have any treasured STEM books for kids? I would love to read them 🙂


Writing this post as a series for the Ultimate Blog Challenge and Write 31 Days.  31 Days, 31 Books! This is for Day Seventeen (and I need to catch up on day 18)

Day 0 Day 1  Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5  Day 6  Day 7 Day 8 Day 9  Day 10 Day 11  Day 12 Day 13   Day 14  Day 15  Day 16

STEM books Andrea Beaty

 

45 thoughts on “Book Reviews: STEM Books from Andrea Beaty, David Roberts

  1. What a wonderful set of books for any child’s bookshelf! I love how they all encourage achievement and show that you can achieve anything in life if you really want to. The extra companion books with even further detail are a great idea and really help children understand more about these fields of endeavour.

  2. Great book additions for children! My great granddaughter is only a few months old, but her mom and dad are already ready her stories! She will have a great collection of books by the time she is 5 years old, we signed her up to Dolly Pardon’s Imagination Library. She will receive a book each month from birth to 5 years!

  3. These books seem really fun and interesting for kids to read, especially those children who are interested in STEM and related sciences. I have personally never read any of these books, but I like the diversity and the messages of these books.

  4. What a fantastic set of books – great for kids of all ages to inspire them visually and to make them think. I especially love that there is a companion book of projects to get their creative juices flowing. And a big bonus is the lovely illustrations filling up the pages. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful series!

  5. These books sound so good! I am such a HUGE fan of reading, and whenever the little kiddos come, I will make sure to refer back to your list! Thank you so much for sharing these.

    1. Andrea Beaty was a new to me author as well but I am glad I discovered her. And like you say, it would be cool to develop such resources myself (someday in the hopefully nearer future)

  6. All these books are pretty awesome! I love how they will get a child interested in STEM and build their confidence as well. Empowerment and building self esteem in children is important for their emotional growth.

  7. All great reviews all these books looks and sounds like a really beautiful and wonderful children’s books I am really glad you fully enjoy each of these books, thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

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