Tag Archives: STEM

Turn This Book Into a Beehive! An Interview with Author, Lynn Brunelle

19 Apr

35489137.jpgReview: This is a fascinating book – not only for the fun facts about bees and what makes them so vital to the ecosystem, but that the book has so many amazing activities that kids can do at home with materials they can easily get ahold of. These activities are fully integrated into the content of the book, plus the book provides you with the materials need to create your own beehive. And on a side note, I learned that a hive is manmade while a nest is naturally occurring from this book! This would be a great title to purchase for summer vacation to encourage kids to learn about the world around them and having fun at the same time (which truly is the best way to learn)! This book will be published on May 15th, so mark your calendars or pre-order, you won’t be disappointed!

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AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Math Madness

14 Apr

fibonacci-1601158_1280.pngProgram Name: Math Madness

What: This is a hands-on learning program about math for kids in elementary school. We have found that the kids continue to try and show off they math knowledge, but have very few skills that we would consider math basics. They can name a tetrahedron, but don’t know how to read a ruler. We’re trying to bring math skills you learn in the classroom and make them fun and accessible in the real world.

Where: This program can be offered in whatever space you have available – we’ve used our storytime room with it’s stadium style bleacher seats to a small meeting room and have even used a larger space as needed.

When: We offer this program every other month – opposite our Passport Pals program. You could offer this as a weekly series, a monthly series or quarterly – whatever fits into your schedule.

Who: We gear this program to 3-5 grades students, but again you could easily adapt this to a younger audience or an older audience and just change the activities to fit the developmental levels of those audience.

How: Our children’s librarian uses library blogs and Pinterest to come up with great ideas for simple, easy activities that don’t cost a lot of money surrounding a specific topic. With STEM being a huge buzzword right now, these types of activities are easy to come by!


  • If you’re low on time, check out the possibility of using Crazy 8s Math Club, created by Bedtime Math. We started out using the program, but the parameters didn’t work well for our schedule, so we started creating our own “lessons”.
  • If you’re short on staff, see if you have a high school student willing to volunteer some time to offer a few programs for you – it looks good on college applications and helps you out in theprocess!


During the month of April, I’ll be participating in the 2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For this year’s theme, I’ll be offering you a library program plan with everything you to need to re-create it at your own library. Most of these programs we’ve offered in the past, others are programs I’d like to try in the future. I’m always looking for new inspiration and I thought you might be too!

#blogbookaday: Bird Builds a Nest

14 Apr

Bird Builds a NestSummary:  “It’s time for Bird to build her nest! Follow her as she pulls a worm out of the ground, lifts some twigs that are just the right size, and pushes the twigs into place. Uh-oh! One of the twigs falls to the ground! But after a day of hard work, Bird’s nest is ready and waiting. Can you guess what it’s waiting for? Using simple, clear language and beautiful illustrations, this engaging story is the perfect introduction to physical forces for very young readers. A final spread with some simple questions promotes discussion with parents, teachers, or caregivers and encourages readers to think about the concepts introduced.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: With words like “A First Science Storybook” on the cover, I was hesitant to see what this book was all about. I’m always looking for picture books that teach kids without them really knowing that they’re learning. I want young kids to enjoy learning and exploring and not feel as though they are being lectured or grilled about a specific concept or idea. This book does a great job for really young kids explaining how a bird builds a nest. What they look for, how heavy something is, the steps involved from start to finish. And what’s great is that if you want to ask your child some questions about the story and how it relates to science, they have simple questions printed that allows you to do that at a developmentally-appropriate level.

Personal Reaction: I loved the color palette of this book – with the leaves of the trees in shades of yellows, oranges, and greens. I would have loved to see more bright colors for spring, but this color palette works really well together and I think works well for the story. Who would have thought that learning about force would be as much as learning about birds’ nests.

Title: Bird Builds a Nest
Author: Martin Jenkins
Illustrator: Richard Jones
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: January 17, 2018

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

#blogbookaday: Franky

21 Mar

28006771.jpgSummary:  “Sam loves robots. He is certain they live in outer space among the stars. His family laughs at him, and no one seems to understand. No one except for Franky, that is…” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Sam knows that robots live in outer space, but his family won’t believe him, so he builds his own robot in the hopes drawing the robots to his house. Franky and Sam play every day, until one day Franky doesn’t move from the window all day. And all of sudden… “They’re HERE!”
Personal Reaction: I love Leo Timmers distinct illustration style and his intricate robots and space ships are perfect to share this story. I also liked seeing Sam use all sorts of day-to-day items to create this really awesome robot and then how he uses boring cardboard boxes to hide Franky from his parents. Timmers’ work always requires the reader to take some time to make sure you catch everything in the illustration, which in my opinion, is always fun.
Title: Franky

Author: Leo Timmers
Illustrator: Leo Timmers
Publisher: Gecko Press
Publication Date: March 1, 2016

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

60 STEM Titles for 3-6 Year Olds

15 Mar

We often are asked by parents for “science books for preschoolers” and after a reference interview, we find that they are looking to teach their kids a variety of science concepts at a young age and finding books that are academic enough to satisfy the parents can be difficult. I created the list below filled with nonfiction titles, but also picture book titles that introduce some basic science concepts, but are still developmentally appropriate for a very young audience. I created a math list previously on this site (14 Picture Books to Introduce Math Concepts), so stop by that list for math titles (you won’t find them repeated here). These are just a few, there are more than I could ever put into a list, but find a few of these as a jumping off point! Enjoy!

stem preschool.png


  1. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
  2. Charlotte the Scientist is Squished by Camille Andros
  3. Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns
  4. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields
  5. What Is a Scientist? by Barbara Lehn


  1. Best In Snow by April Pulley Sayre
  2. Calendar by Myra Cohn Livingston
  3. Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
  4. Leaves by David Ezra Stein
  5. Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
  6. Our Seasons by Grace Lin and Ranida T. McKneally
  7. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
  8. Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre
  9. Water is Water by Miranda Paul
  10. The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins


  1. A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston
  2. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
  3. DK First Animal Encyclopedia
  4. First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  5. I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton 
  6. Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer
  7. Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Marianne Collins Berkes
  8. A Nest Is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston
  9. Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
  10. Who Am I? by Steve Jenkins

Human Body

  1. Bones by Steve Jenkins
  2. The Busy Body Book by Lizzy Rockwell
  3. DK First Human Body Encyclopedia
  4. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
  5. I Hear a Pickle (And Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!) by Rachel Isadora
  6. Inside Your Outside! By Tish Rabe
  7. The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole
  8. Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeney
  9. My Five Senses by Aliki
  10. Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Outer Space

  1. If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty
  2. Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes
  3. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
  4. The Sun Is My Favorite Star by Frank Asch
  5. Zoom, Rocket, Zoom! By Margaret Mayo


  1. Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer
  2. Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
  3. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
  4. In a Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
  5. Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole
  6. Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
  7. A Rock Is Lively by  Dianna Hutts Aston
  8. A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston
  9. The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
  10. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner


  1. 11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill
  2. Awesome Dawson by Chris Gall
  3. Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
  4. Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale
  5. Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
  6. If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
  7. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
  8. Monkey with A Tool Belt and The Noisy Problem by Chris Monroe
  9. Robots, Robots Everywhere! by Sue Fliess
  10. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
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