Picture Books to Celebrate STEAM Month

October is STEAM month, and it’s never too early to introduce your children to books at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library about science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics! These picture books are enjoyable read-alouds that also introduce STEAM topics to preschoolers and early elementary students. Use these stories along with hands-on activities or field experiences to explore or discover your child’s interests.  

Ready, Set, Build! by Meg Fleming

Recommended for ages 3 to 5

How do you start a construction project? First you draw and plan, then you measure and cut and, finally, you build! Even young readers will recognize and name the steps Dog takes while creating his dream home. Whimsical illustrations and simple text make this fun to read aloud, but be sure to define some of the work-site vocabulary or talk about how Dog stays safe as he works. Then get out your sketchpad and ruler to draw up plans for your next cardboard box creation with your child!

Bigger Than You by Hyewon Kyung

Recommended for ages 4 to 8

When dinosaurs get on the playground seesaw, there’s bound to be trouble! This deceptively simple story is wonderful for introducing the concepts of size, weight, balance and simple machines. After reading the book, encourage your child to sort his or her stuffed animals from smallest to largest, practice weighing things around the house, create your own balance scale or take a trip to the playground to try out a seesaw (while pretending to be dinosaurs, of course!).  

The Reptile Club by Maureen Fergus

Recommended for ages 4 to 8

What makes a reptile so unique? One boy finds out when he starts a Reptile Club at school, only to have a crocodile, anaconda and gecko show up to the first meeting. In this laugh-out-loud picture book, the reptiles have to decide if they’ll allow mammals (the other school children) to be part of their club. You might be surprised just how many reptile facts Fergus squeezes into this totally silly classroom story. Follow this book with some nonfiction books about snakes and lizards to increase learning. 

Play This Book! by Jessica Young

Recommended for ages 2 to 5

Take turns holding this book as you read, strumming your fingers over the guitar page, tapping the keys on the piano page or closing the book again and again to crash the cymbals. You’ll learn the names of different instruments, make the sounds of trombone and drums, all while moving and dancing with this interactive book. After reading, play music with your child and listen for the sounds of different instruments, make your own rhythm sticks or maracas or clap and count the beats of your favorite songs.   

Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre

Recommended for ages 4 to 8

October brings cooler weather and changing scenery. Why not combine your seasonal fun with STEAM activities? This book contains gorgeous photographs of trees in their autumn colors, making it a perfect book to share before taking a walk outside to observe the changing seasons. Use crayons to make leaf or bark rubbings, start a leaf collection with pressed fallen leaves or create sidewalk collages using leaves, acorns and seeds.   

Learn more about Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s STEAM month, find our calendar of events, and get book and activity suggestions for all ages at cmlibrary.org/STEAMMonth. 

Rene Kimray is a senior library assistant at ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center.