Dream Big, Little Scientists, by Michelle Schaub/Illustrated by Alice Potter, (Feb. 2020), Charlesbridge, $16.99, ISBN: 9781580899345
Twelve kids who dream of being scientists get ready for bed in this adorable, rhyming bedtime STEM story. Each spread features a different child who favors a different area of science, and the spreads are a feast for the eyes. The verse maps to each child’s preferred area, bringing art and verse together to give kids a mini-science lesson on each spread: each child has favored scientists in each field; bedding and room decor cleverly gives readers a guessing game of scientific proportions. A little girl looks out her window at the moon, shining through her planetary curtains; on her bedside table is a book on stars and planets, and she has posters of Carl Sagan and a Space Shuttle hanging up. The verse reads, “The sun has tucked itself in bed; the moon is on the rise”; on the next spread, a boy lays across his map of the world rug, reading; his bedding depicts a mountain scene, and he has a shade with an erupting volcano drawn. A poster of geologist Jess Phoenix hangs on the wall, and the verse reads, “Under rumpled mountain quilts, the earth is snuggled tight”.
It’s a wonderful way of teaching through exposure: younger readers will love the rhyme, bright colors, and bold digital artwork; school-age readers can guess each kid’s favorite science and name disciplines as they navigate their way through each spread. Back matter offers brief profiles of each discipline spotlighted, and a link to visit for more information. The book detail page on publisher Charlesbridge’s website includes a link to information about the featured scientists in the story, plus a downloadable educator’s guide and storytime kit.
I’m definitely incorporating this into a Science Storytime. Pick a few branches of science and go for it! I really like Toronto Public Library’s suggestions here, and there are tons of great Toddler/Preschooler STEAM craft ideas on Pinterest and all over the web (homeschoolers, I love you).
Dream Big, Little Scientists is great for bedtime, science time, or anytime!