The editors we spoke with in our feature on “The State of STEM/STEAM Publishing” highlighted some of their standout titles in the category, and we’ve collected them here.
New Series and Initiatives
Charlesbridge’s Storytelling Math series
In fall 2020, Charlesbridge teamed up with the STEM-education nonprofit TERC to introduce a line of board books and picture books that blend math concepts and storytelling. According to Alyssa Mito Pusey, executive editor at Charlesbridge, “The books are written and illustrated by diverse creators and feature children of color using math in their everyday adventures.” The series has received critical praise and performed well so far, Pusey notes, saying, “We’re thrilled that these books are helping expand representation in math literature.”
Lia & Luís: Puzzled!
by Ana Crespo, illus. by Giovana Medeiros (Charlesbridge, Mar. 2023, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-62354-322-8)
Sorting and geometry come into play when twins Lia and Luís receive a puzzle from their grandmother, which they must put together to read a hidden message.
by JaNay Brown-Wood, illus. by Anastasia Magloire Williams (Charlesbridge, Oct., $15.99; ISBN 978-1-62354-164-4)
Tyson, the youngest and smallest of five brothers, solves a big problem when the family’s pet gerbil goes missing and Tyson’s math knowledge helps him locate his furry friend.
What Will Fit?
by Grace Lin (Charlesbridge, 2020, $6.99; ISBN 978-1-62354-125-5)
At the farmer’s market, Olivia, a small Black child, searches for a piece of produce that’s just the right size, so it will fit perfectly into her basket.
DK’s Secret Explorer series
The Secret Explorer chapter book series by S.J. King features a group of kids from around the world who each have an area of expertise (e.g. space, marine life) and work together on various missions to solve problems and help people. Launched in 2020, the series now comprises 13 volumes, with The Secret Explorers and the Desert Disappearance publishing in January 2023. DK Children’s acquisitions editor James Mitchem notes, “It’s the perfect mix of fiction and nonfiction and a really fun new avenue for DK.”
Sourcebooks Builds STEAM Week Initiative Around Bestselling Series
Earlier this month, coinciding with National STEM Day November 9, Sourcebooks unveiled its inaugural How to Catch STEAM Week offering educators and elementary students a full slate of STEAM-based activities, resources, and a sweepstakes based on Sourcebooks’ bestselling How to Catch picture book series by Adam Wallace, illustrated by Andy Elkerton.
by Hal Evans (Brown, 2021 $17.95; ISBN 978-1-61254-500-4)
Evans blends art history and playful rhymes in this volume that spotlights great artists and their masterpieces, each accompanied by a fact-filled song set to a familiar tune.
by Katrine Crow (Flowerpot, Apr. 2023, $7.99; ISBN 978-1-4867-1819-1)
Crow, editor at Flowerpot, notes that Butts “has easily become our most popular title in the Whose Is It series” of question-and-answer books featuring close-up photography and information about animal characteristics.
Diving Deep: Using Machines to Explore the Ocean
by Michelle Cusolito, illus. by Nicole Wong (Charlesbridge, June, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-62354-293-1)
Cusolito highlights some of the different technologies scientists use to explore the ocean depths.
Finding Family: The Duckling Raised by Loons
by Laura Purdie Salas, illus. by Alexandria Neonakis (Millbrook, Mar. 2023, $20.99; ISBN 978-1-7284-4299-0)
Loon researchers who focused on a northern Wisconsin lake in 2019 were surprised to discover a mother and father loon uncharacteristically caring for a mallard duckling that grows to exhibit behaviors of both types of waterfowl.
by Eric Zweig (National Geographic Kids, July, $14.99; 978-1-4263-7289-6)
This latest volume joins the It’s a Numbers Game! series, which senior editor Katharine Moore says “appeals to the sports-loving crowd by introducing them to math concepts using their love of the game.” Other titles in the lineup include Basketball, Soccer, and Baseball.
Hello, Earth!: Poems for Our Planet
by Joyce Sidman, illus. by Miren Asiain Lora (Eerdmans, 2021, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8028-5528-2)
The poems and paintings in this volume offer a look at the beauty found in such aspects of Earth science as our planet’s ecosystems, creatures, and plants. Backmatter offers more detail on the science of plate tectonics, ocean tides, water cycles, and more.
This Magical, Musical Night
by Rhonda Gowler Green, illus. by James Rey Sanchez (Little Bee, 2021, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4998-1172-8)
In this introduction to the symphony orchestra, each instrument shows off what it can do as their individual strengths come together in a magical performance.
by Gabby Salazar and Clare Fieseler (National Geographic Kids, Feb., $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4263-7176-9)
Readers meet 25 female explorers and scientists—a volcanologist, a paleontologist, and a mountaineer among them—in this anthology celebrating the adventurous journeys of women generating change and making important contributions to their fields. As a bonus, National Geographic Kids senior editor Katharine Moore points out, “When kids are done with the book, they can tune into the weekly tie-in podcast How We Explore.”
One Million Oysters on Top of the Mountain
by Alex Nogués, illus. by Miren Asiain Lora (Eerdmans, 2021, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-8028-5569-5
Spanish geologist Nogués brings readers into the science mystery of the landscapes carved out by moving seas and tectonic plates, explaining how fossilized mollusks could now be found in the sediment on top of a mountain.
Patient Zero: Solving the Mysteries of Deadly Epidemics
by Marilee Peters (Annick, 2014; revised 2021, $24.95; ISBN 978-1-77321-516-7)
Updated last year to include information about Covid-19, Peters’s book has more than 200,000 copies in print.
Searching Beyond the Stars: Seven Women in Science Take on Space’s Biggest Questions
by Nicole Mortillaro, illus. by Amanda Key (Annick, Nov., $14.95; ISBN 978-1-77321-624-9)
Mortillaro draws on her experience as a woman in STEM (a science reporter for CBC News and editor of the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada) to profile mostly contemporary female scientists in astronomy, chemistry, physics, history, and other disciplines. She shines a light on her subjects’ great discoveries and achievements in light of the barriers—sexism and racism chief among them—that they faced.
The Second in the World to Discover Evolution: Alfred Russel Wallace
by Farren Phillips (Yeehoo, Aug., $19.99; ISBN 978-1-953458-38-4)
Young readers meet the second person to come up with the theory of evolution and learn about his sizeable contributions to science.
The Secret Code Inside You: All About Your DNA
by Rajani LaRocca, illus. by Steven Salerno (Little Bee, 2021, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4998-1075-2)
Medical doctor and Newbery Honor author LaRocca’s rhyming picture book “has done really well for us so far,” says editor Charlie Ilgunas. “It’s a simple introduction to the rather complex topic of DNA that the author was able to distill into something relatable to young readers.” A follow-up science picture book from LaRocca, A Vaccine Is Like a Memory, is due in June 2023. See our q&a with the author here.
The Secrets of Dinosaurs (PNSO Encyclopedia for Children #1)
by Yang Yang, illus. by Zhao Chang (Brown Books, 2021, $24.95; ISBN 978-1-61254-515-8)
A range of detailed illustrations, created in collaboration with paleontologists, accompany fact-filled descriptions of dinosaurs from the Mesozoic era.
Skywolf’s Call: The Gift of Indigenous Knowledge
by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger (Annick, Apr., $24.95; ISBN 978-1-77321-630-0)
Young readers will discover many of the ways that Indigenous peoples have been caring for the earth for millennia, and how we can learn from their examples. Ancient engineering feats like the Hohokam canals built circa 300–750 C.E. near Phoenix, Ariz., and still part of the city’s water management system, are among the highlighted examples.
Summertime Sleepers: Animals That Estivate
by Melissa Stewart, illus. by Sarah S. Brannen (Charlesbridge, 2021, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-58089-716-7)
Animals like pixie frogs and yellow-bellied marmots, who sleep through the warm weather of summer, or estivate, star in this picture book.
Whose Egg Is That?
by Darrin Lunde, illus. by Kelsey Oseid (Charlesbridge, Jan. 2023, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-62354-329-7
Using a guessing-game format, mammologist Lunde helps readers identify seven different eggs and facts about the animals who laid them.