50+ Multicultural STEAM Books for Children

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Multicultural STEAM Books for Children
 

STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) has been an important part of the school curriculum for many years now. More recently, art has been added in order to emphasize the importance of creative thinking, and so STEM became STEAM.

This list of multicultural STEAM books for children should have something for everyone: Girls, Boys, Preschool, Elementary School, Middle School – I even found a science board book series for babies!


50+ Multicultural STEAM Books for Children


Babies & Toddlers


Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!
by Ruth Spiro

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!

“Bird can fly. How does Bird fly?” With accurate facts, yet simple enough for babies and toddlers, Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering! explores the fascinating physics of flight, from birds to aeroplanes and rockets. The visually stimulating illustrations are sure to keep even the littlest readers’ attention. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

More in the Baby Loves Science series: Baby Loves Thermodynamics! // Baby Loves Quarks! // Baby Loves Quantum Physics!


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Preschool


Ada Twist, Scientist
by Andrea Beaty

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Ada Twist, Scientist

Little scientist Ada has a boundless imagination and curiosity. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific smell, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments. Inspired by real-life female scientists, best-selling Ada Twist, Scientist promotes girl power in science with playful rhyme and cartoon illustrations. ~ African – Preschool

More great picture books released in 2016: The 40 Best Multicultural Picture Books of 2016


Move It!: Motion, Forces and You
by Adrienne Mason

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Move It!

Move It! explores the physics of why and how things move. Loaded with surprising facts and hands-on activities, this is a fun picture book that taps into young children’s fascination with the everyday world and is sure to hold their interest. ~ Diverse – Preschool


Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building
by Christy Hale

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Dreaming Up

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building is a fun collection of illustrations, poetry and photographs that shows how young children’s constructions, created as they play, are reflected in notable works of architecture from around the world. ~ Diverse – Preschool


Doc Like Mommy
by Dr Crystal Bowe

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Doc Like Mommy

“When I grow up, I know what I want to be…” Doc Like Mommy is a new picture book release that teaches little girls that they can be anything they want to be. The cute illustrations will appeal to young readers. ~ African – Preschool


A Squiggly Story
by Andrew Larsen

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: A Squiggly Story

A young boy wants to write a story, just like his big sister, but he only knows letters, not words. “Why don’t you start with a letter?”, his sister encourages him. So the boy does and soon discovers that he has everything he needs to write his own perfect story. With lively graphic novel style illustrations, A Squiggly Story is a sweet book that celebrates imagination, creativity and self-expression. ~ Diverse – Preschool


What Is Science?
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: What Is Science?

“So into the earth, / and into the sky, / we question the how, / the where, when, / and why.” With cute illustrations and poetic text, What Is Science? is a fun introduction to the intriguing world of science, from stars and planets to rocks, soil, hurricanes and aeroplanes. Children learn that science is about curiosity: asking questions and exploring possible answers. ~ Diverse – Preschool



Look What Brown Can Do!
by T. Marie Harris

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Look What Brown can Do!

Look What Brown Can Do! tells of the accomplishments from yesterday’s and today’s Black heroes. From painters, dancers and scientists, to musicians, writers, and athletes, this engaging picture book captures a variety of interests and is sure to help children understand that greatness can be achieved in every shade of brown.  ~ African – Preschool


Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth
by Molly Bang

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Rivers of Sunlight

The latest book in the award-winning Sunlight series explores how water flows around the Earth and the sun’s important role as it changes between liquid, vapour, and ice. With bright artwork and easy-to-understand scientific explanations, Rivers of Sunlight introduces young readers to the water cycle and shows them how to conserve one of our planet’s most precious resources. ~ Diverse – Preschool

More from the Sunlight series: Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring The Earth To Life // Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas // Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth


Galimoto
by Karen Lynn Williams

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Galimoto

In a Malawian village, Kondi is determined to make a galimoto – a toy vehicle made of wires. Despite his brother laughing at the idea, Kondi gathers up the wire he needs and starts to construct the push car. By nightfall, his car is finished and all the village children enjoy playing with it. With expressive watercolour illustrations, Galimoto tells of a young boy’s creativity and determination. ~ African – Preschool

More books about recycling: 22 Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day

More books set in Southern Africa: 23 Children’s Books set in South Africa


The Carpenter
by Bruna Barros

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: The Carpenter

A young boy abandons his beloved digital device when his dad’s old-fashioned zigzag ruler causes his imagination to run wild. He turns it into a house, a car, an elephant, a tree, and finally a water-spouting whale. The Carpenter is a beautifully illustrated, wordless picture book that inspires imagination and creativity. ~ African – Preschool


How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
by Margaret McNamara

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: How Many Seeds In A Pumpkin?.

All the kids in Mr. Tiffin’s class get to have a guess how many seeds there are in a big, a medium, and a small pumpkin. Surprisingly, the smallest one has the largest amount of seeds. Charlie, the smallest boy in the class, happily exclaims: “Small things have a lot going on inside of them!” How Many Seed in a Pumpkin ? is a fun counting book that makes a great read-aloud companion to any maths or science curriculum. ~ Diverse – Preschool


Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras)
by Asia Citro

afMulticultural STEAM Books for Children: Zoey and Sassafras

In the first book of this series, Zoey finds a glowing photo and discovers that injured magical animals come to her backyard barn for help. When a sick baby dragon appears, Zoey and her cat Sassafras need to figure out what’s wrong before it’s too late. With easy-to-read text and cute illustrations, Dragons and Marshmallows balances scientific and fantasy elements perfectly, making it an appealing book for young readers. ~ African – Preschool, Elementary School

More multicultural series: 40+ Multicultural Book Series for Girls & Boys


Swift Walker: A Space Adventure
by Verlyn Tarlton

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Swift Walker

Swift Walker’s speedy legs take him to all the planets in our solar system. Kids can join him on his space adventure with this fun picture books that will power your child’s imagination with real information. Swift Walker: A Space Adventure is a perfect book for home, school, and homeschool. ~ African – Preschool,  Elementary School

More books in the Swift Walker series: Swift Walker: A Continental Journey // Swift Walker: A Journey Around the Oceans // Swift Walker: World Geography Coloring Book



Elementary School


Clouds (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science)
by Anne Rockwell

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Clouds

Clouds encourages children to look up at the sky and observe the clouds in order to find out what the weather will be. With simple text and folk-art style illustrations, this colourful picture book introduces 11 different types of clouds according to their positions in the atmosphere. ~ Diverse – Elementary School


How a Seed Grows (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science)
by Helen J. Jordan

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: How a Seed Grows

From bean seeds to oak seeds, this charming book explains in simple words how fast different seeds grow. With realistic watercolour illustrations, How a Seed Grows encourages children to follow each aspect of the growing process. ~ African – Elementary School

More books about growing seeds: 21 Multicultural Children’s Books: Growing Your Own Food


Roll, Slope, and Slide: A Book About Ramps 
by Michael Dahl

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Roll, Slope, and Slide

Roll, Slope, and Slide is a simple concept book that describes the different kinds, uses, and benefits of inclined planes and ramps. Includes an activity. ~ Diverse – Elementary School


Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker
by Kathryn Lasky

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Vision of Beauty

Born just after slavery ended and orphaned at age seven, Sarah Breedlove Walker went on to become the richest African American woman of her time. Going bald as a young woman from years of poor nutrition and hard labour, she created a formula to restore the health of both hair and scalp and built her business into the Mme. C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, one of the biggest companies in America. Rich in historical detail and with expressive illustrations, Visions of Beauty is the rags-to-riches tale of a powerful role model for girls and women of all races. ~ African – Elementary School

More books about inspiring female role models: 32 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models //

26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls


Katherine Johnson (You Should Meet)
by Thea Feldman

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Katherine Johnson

Meet Katherine Johnson, the brilliant mathematician whose unparalleled calculations (done by hand!) helped plan the trajectories for NASA’s Mercury and Apollo missions (including the Apollo 11 moon landing). Part of the “You Should Meet” series, this Level 3 Ready-To-Read biography teaches children about one of the greatest American minds of all time in a fun way. Includes info on history and math, plus inspiring careers for math lovers. ~ African – Elementary School


Mae Jemison (You Should Meet)
by Laurie Calkhoven

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Mae Jemison

If your daughter is dreaming of blasting off into space, being a dancer or a doctor, she should meet Mae Jemison! Despite a lot of discouragement and discrimination, Mae Jemison became the first African American female astronaut. Part of the “You Should Meet” series, this Level 3 Ready-To-Read biography introduces young readers to the amazing achievements of this fascinating multi-talented woman. ~ African – Elementary School


Magic Trash: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art
by J.H. Shapiro

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Magic Trash

Tyree Guyton loved his childhood home where his grandpa Sam taught him to “paint the world.” But with vacant lots, abandoned houses and lots of trash, his old neighbourhood was in trouble. So Tyree started to transform everyday junk into magic trash with his paintbrush, and soon local families joined him in rebuilding their neighbourhood. Magic Trash is a colourful picture book biography that shows the power of community and art. ~ African – Elementary School

More books about community: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Power of Community

More books about recycling: 22 Multicultural Children’s Books for Earth Day


Stem Cells Are Everywhere
by Irv Weissman MD

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Stem Cells

How do you heal when you cut your skin or break a bone? How does your body keep making new blood or brain cells? How does a plant keep growing larger? Stem Cells Are Everywhere is an engaging introduction to stem cells that keeps the subject simple enough for young readers. ~ Diverse – Elementary School


How Much Is a Million?
by David M. Schwartz

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: How Much Is A Million?

How Much Is a Million? “Taller Than The Tallest Buildings / Higher Than The Highest Mountains. If you wanted to count from one to a million / It would take you about 23 days.” In simple words, supported by busy, whimsical illustrations, Marvelosissimo the mathematical magician explains inconceivable numbers. A magical math class young readers will love! ~ Diverse – Elementary School


Creatrilogy Box Set (Dot, Ish, Sky Color)
by Peter Reynolds

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Creatrilogy

Three amazing books in a beautiful box set! With dynamic drawings and enchanting story lines, Creatrilogy celebrates the power of creative thinking. The Dot invites children to express themselves without worrying about the end result, Ish teaches them that thinking “ishly” leads to a far more wonderful outcome than “getting it right”, and Sky Color shows them that if we open our eyes and look beyond the expected, inspiration will come. ~ Diverse – Elementary School


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Shark Lady
by Jess Keating

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Shark Lady

This beautiful new picture book tells the inspiring story of brave ichthyologist Eugenie Cark. After seeing sharks at the aquarium for the first time in the early 1930’s, 9-year-old Eugenie decided to dedicate her life to studying them and sharing their beauty with the world. She went on to become an internationally respected scientific authority as well as a fierce advocate for the misunderstood predators, earning her the nickname “Shark Lady.” ~ Asian –  Elementary School

For a more in-depth review, go to: Multicultural Book of the Month: Shark Lady


Radiant Child
by Javaka Steptoe

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Radiant Child

This stunningly illustrated picture book biography tells the story of modern art phenomenon Jean-Michel Basquiat who shot to fame in the 1980s. With vivid text and bold artwork – inspired by Basquiat’s style –, Radiant Child captures the artist’s energy beautifully and sends the powerful message to young readers that art doesn’t have to be neat or conform to anything to be beautiful. ~ African – Elementary School

For a more in-depth review, go to: Multicultural Book of the Month: Radiant Child


Your Fantastic Elastic Brain
by JoAnn Deak Ph.D.

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

What does your brain really do? This fun and engaging introduction to the anatomy and functions of the brain will empower young readers to stretch and grow their brains. Your Fantastic Elastic Brain shows children that they can strengthen their brains by trying new things and not giving up. ~ Diverse – Elementary School


The Meteorologist In Me
by Brittney Shipp

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: The Meteorologist in Me

Little Summer has a big dream: She wants to become a TV Meteorologist. Summer loves sharing weather facts and wonders why everyone laughs at the thought of her on T.V. The Meteorologist in Me is an inspirational story about overcoming fears and gaining the courage to reach for your dreams. ~ African – Elementary School



The Soda Bottle School
by Laura Kutner

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: The Soda Bottle School

In a Guatemalan village, the tiny schoolhouse desperately needed expansion. When the money ran out before the project was finished, someone had a creative idea: Why not use readily available soda bottles for the walls? The Soda Bottle School teaches children that thinking outside the box can lead to the perfect solution. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Sasha Savvy Loves to Code
by Sasha Ariel Alston

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Sasha Savvy Loves To Code

Sasha Savvy is a super smart 10-year old who is trying o decide which class to take for summer camp. Her mom, a software developer, suggests she’ll give the coding for girls class a try. Sceptical at first, Sasha soon starts to enjoy the class. Written by a black teenage girl, Sasha Savvy Loves to Code is an early reader chapter book that will encourage young girls to try out coding. ~ African – Elementary School


Gravity
by Jason Chin

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Gravity

What keeps objects from floating out of your hand? What if your feet drifted away from the ground? What stops everything from floating into space? With beautiful illustrations and simple text, Gravity makes a complex subject accessible for young readers.  ~ Diverse – Elementary School

More from the same series: Redwoods // Grand Canyon // Coral Reefs // Island: A Story of the Galápagos


Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
by Rachel Ignotofsky

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Women in Science

Voted Best Science Book of 2016, Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to STEM fields. Although only ten out of the fifty featured scientists are women of colour, it is still an amazing, strikingly illustrated resource that will inspire young girls to pursue careers in science.  Includes a timeline, statistics, infographics, and an illustrated scientific glossary. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Women in Science: 100 Postcards

More books about amazing women: 26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls // 32 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models


Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
by Chris Barton

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Woosh!

One of the most popular toys of all time, the Super Soaker was invented by Lonnie Johnson entirely by accident. Whoosh! tells the story of the inventor’s childhood. A love for rockets, robots, and inventions, coupled with a mind for creativity and a passion for problem-solving became the cornerstones for Johnson’s career as an engineer and his work with NASA. ~ African – Elementary School

More great picture books released in 2016: The 40 Best Multicultural Picture Books of 2016



Middle School


The Toothpaste Millionaire
by Jean Merrill

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: The Toothpaste Millionaire

In 1960’s Cleveland, Sixth-grader Rufus Mayflower bets he can make a gallon of his own toothpaste for the price of one store-bought tube. He experiments, develops a production plan and starts a successful toothpaste making business with his good friend Kate. The Toothpaste Millionaire is a breezy story with a nice subtle message about treating everyone as equal, irrespective of race or gender. 35th-anniversary edition with exclusive author interview and reader’s guide. ~ African – Middle School


What Color Is My World?
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: What Color Is My World?

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar introduces kids to little-known African American inventors in this vibrant book. From James West who invented the cell phone microphone to Fred Jones who invented the refrigerated truck and Dr. Percy Julian who synthesized cortisone from soy, What Color Is My World? offers profiles of great black inventors who persevered against all odds, framed by a funny contemporary story featuring two feisty twins. ~ African – Middle School


May Chinn : The Best Medicine
by Ellen Butts

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: May Chinn

This inspiring book chronicles the life of May Chinn who succeded against the odds to become one of the first African American female doctors in the U.S. May Chinn tells of the doctor’s childhood in New York City through to her 50 years as a medical practitioner and researcher. A fascinating read that teaches children about May Chinn’s struggles and accomplishments in the world of science.  ~ African – Middle School


Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World
by Reshma Saujani

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Girls Who Code

Since 2012, the organization Girls Who Code has taught computing skills to and inspired over 40,000 girls across America. Written by its founder, Girls Who Code bursts with dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA. An inspiring and empowering read for girls!  ~ Diverse – Middle School

More ‘Girls Who Code’ books: The Friendship Code #1 // Team BFF: Race to the Finish! #2 // Code It! Create It!: Ideas & Inspiration for Coding

 

Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition
by Margot Lee Shetterly

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures tells the amazing true story of four African American female mathematicians at NASA. Known as “human computers”,  they helped achieve some of the greatest moments in the US’s space program by calculating the numbers that would launch rockets into space. ~ African – Middle School

More books about inspiring female role models: 32 Multicultural Picture Books About Strong Female Role Models //

26 Multicultural Picture Books about Inspiring Women & Girls


The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
by William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer

Multicultural STEAM Books for Children: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

When William Kamkwamba’s family lost their crops in a terrible drought in their Malawian village, he started exploring science books in order to find a solution. He eventually came up with the idea to build a windmill out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts. William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind is an inspiring memoir that shows how creative thinking can change a desperate situation for the better. ~ African – Middle School


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2 Responses

  1. Patricia Tilton
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    Wow, what a great list! Glad they added creative thinking to the STEM program. Kids need to dream big and think outside the box if they want to accomplish something.

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