Thursday, February 1, 2018

STEM Series (Andrea Beaty)

Children ask question.  Children make messes.  Children become hyper-focused. 

These actions can drive adults crazy!  They are also the inspiration for a series of books by author Andrea Beaty and illustrator David Roberts.

Children are introduced to STEM career options in this series that celebrates childhood wonder as well as shows the potential of “childish” play and thinking. Written in poetic free verse, each story intertwines realism with the fantastic.  The books empower children with imagination and ingenuity as well as model resourcefulness and perseverance. 

The next time a child drives you crazy with questions, makes a big mess trying to create, or becomes too focused on one idea, remember that those qualities can blossom into something beautiful. 

Publisher Summary:
Some kids sculpt sand castles. Some make mud pies.  Some construct great block towers.  But none are better at building than Iggy Peck, who once erected a life-size replica of the Great Sphinx on his front lawn! 

It’s too bad that few people appreciate Iggy’s talent—certainly not his second-grade teacher, Miss Lila Greer.  It looks as if Iggy will have to trade in his T-square for a box of crayons…until a fateful field trip proves just how useful a master builder can be.

What’s to Love:  The protagonist is creative, passionate, and expressive.  Miss Greer overcomes her fear and prejudice.  Ultimately, Iggy shares his talent with others by helping and teaching. Click HERE for a teaching guide.

Publisher Summary:
Where some people see rubbish, Rosie Revere sees inspiration. Alone in her room at night, shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Hot dog dispensers, helium pants, python-repelling cheese hats. Rosie’s gizmos would astound—if she ever let anyone see them.

Afraid of failure, she hides them away under her bed. Until a fateful visit from her great-great-aunt Rose, who shows her that a first flop isn’t something to fear—it’s something to celebrate.

What’s to Love:  Rosie thinks outside the box. When her project does not succeed, her great-great aunt teaches her that  “true failure [only] can come if you quit.”  Despite set backs, Rosie dreams “the bold dream of a great engineer.”  Her example inspires her classmates to dream and to experiment.  Click HERE and HERE for teaching guides.

Publisher Summary:
Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose?  Why are there hairs up inside your nose?  Ada Twist’s head is full of questions.  Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie, Ada has always been endlessly curious.  But when her fact-finding mission and elaborate science experiments go too far, her frazzled parents banish her to the Thinking Chair. Will all that thinking change her mind?

What’s to Love:  Ada begins by asking questions like who, what, when, and why.  Those questions lead to more questions.  She then uses them to design an experiment.  Her enthusiasm and determination are contagious.  Not only do her classmates catch it, but young readers will too!  Click HERE for a teaching guide.

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