Picture Books about Kids with STEAM Superpowers

Children’s Book Week is here! Children’s Book Week is an annual national literary event that has celebrated children’s books since 1919. Bookworms, publishers, libraries, schools, and bookstores celebrate Children’s Book Week with activities, events, and promotions. This year’s slogan is Reading is a Superpower, encouraging children and teenagers to discover their abilities (superpowers) and employing them for the benefit of society.

Award-winning author and illustrator Bryan Collier did this year’s poster.

Following this year’s theme, I made a list of picture books about kids with STEAM superpowers. The stories in these books encourage children to immerse themselves in the world of science, use the scientific method, develop critical thinking, and be creative.

Usha and the Big Digger (Storytelling Math) by Amitha Jagannath Knight

Usha loves trucks and cartwheels. One night, Usha crashes upside down next to her sister Aarti who is looking at the stars. Aarti sees the Big Dipper, but Usha sees the Big Digger in the stars. Since the sisters disagree about what shapes they see in the stars, they show their cousin Gloria the stars the next night. But Gloria sees something else—the Big Kite. Why do the three girls see different shapes in the stars? Will they figure out what is happening?

Written by Amitha Jagannath Knight, Usha and the Big Digger is one of the most ingenious and beautiful picture books I have ever come across. It is outstanding for introducing children to spatial concepts. The back matter includes information about what different cultures see in the stars, math and spatial concepts, and activities to try at home. Sandhya Prabhat‘s illustrations mesmerize the eyes with rich purple, turquoise, brown, and fuchsia tones. I highly recommend that parents, schools, and libraries have it on their shelves.

Publishing Year: 2021
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Ages: 4 – 8
Lexile: 360L

Vivi Loves Science by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes

Vivi loves natural sciences, especially about the ocean. Her science class is going to the beach to study tide pools, so she is excited. As Vivi and Graeme, her lab partner, investigate the tide pools with their aquascopes, they find snails, hermit crabs, mussels, starfish, among other fascinating sea creatures. What else do they learn about life in the ocean?

Vivi loves science by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes is the new installment in the STEM picture book Love Science series. Other titles include Libby Loves Science and Cece Loves Science. It includes instructions for children to make aquascopes and tide pools and a glossary of scientific facts about the ocean. Joelle Murray’s illustrations are lively, colorful, detailed, and diverse. This picture book series is fantastic for introducing children, particularly those belonging to minorities, to different branches of science.

Publishing Year: 2021
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Ages: 4 – 8
Lexile Level: Not Yet Rated

Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket by Sue Fliess

Sadie Sprocket wishes to venture through the galaxy and be the first to go to Mars. She gathers a crew and builds a rocket ship. Follow Sadie on her historic space journey to Mars.

Sue Fliess is the prolific author of more than thirty children’s books. The back matter includes facts about famous women in space, like Caroline Herschel and Sally Ride. I loved Annabel Tempest‘s choice of color palette, which includes pistachio green against blush and apple tones. Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket is a picture book for encouraging girls to study and explore space.

Publishing Year: 2021
Publisher: Two Lions
Ages: 4 – 8
Lexile Level: Not Yet Rated

The Collectors by Alice Feagan

Winslow and Rosie are building a collection of natural wonders in their treehouse. Winslow is a brave finder, and Rosie is the brilliant cataloguer. Their collection need one more item to be complete, and it needs to be extraordinary. So, the friends go into the forest to find the perfect object. What will they find?

The Collectors is Alice Feagan‘s debut as an author-illustrator. Its strong Lewis & Clark vibes are perfect for encouraging children to go outdoors and explore the natural world. Winslow and Rosie use their scientific skills. For example, they observe, write down in a journal their observations, and collect evidence. The earth tone art-paper collage illustrations capture the essence of being an outdoor explorer and scientist.

Publishing Year: 2021
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Ages: 4 – 8
Lexile Level: 720L

Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari’s goal is to build a machine that will fly across the yard. He is inspired by engineers and scientists such a Roy Allela and Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal. At first, Jabari refuses help from his little sister, but then he accepts his dad’s suggestion to let her work as his partner. After several failed attempts, Jabari gets frustrated. Will Jabari manage his feelings and keep trying until his machine works?

Author-illustrator Gaia Cornwall of the award-winning picture book Jabari Jumps comes back with the sequel Jabari Tries. This time Jabari manages his feelings with mindful breathing and gives an example of a growth mindset and determination when working on an invention. It is excellent for children interested in engineering.

Publishing Year: 2020
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Ages: 4 – 8
Lexile Level: Not Yet Rated

Boxitects by Kim Smith

Meg is a boxitect. She makes a lot of things—tiny houses, towers, tunnels—with boxes. Since Meg is brilliant and creative, her mother enrolls her in Maker School. Meg loves Maker School until Simone arrives. Simone is a brilliant and creative boxitect, too. It is time for the annual Maker Match, and the only rule is to work as a team. Can Meg and Simone put their egos aside and work together to build the next amazing thing?

New York Times best-selling illustrator Kim Smith is the author-illustrator of Boxitect, which promotes engineering and creative skills utilizing card boxes. The illustrations are vibrant, expressive, and diverse. The back matter includes two boxitects projects and an experiment.

Publishing Year: 2020
Publisher: Clarion Books
Ages: 4 – 8
Lexile Level: Not Yet Rated

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you.

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