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Looking at STEM Through the Lens of Children's Books

At the Children's Center at Caltech, we celebrate books and embed them into our everyday play and learning experiences. We look forward to sharing children's books that we often use and recommend for growing readers!

What makes a good book?

what makes a good book  There are many things to take into consideration when choosing a new book for children.  Do you look at the title first?  Are you drawn in by the illustrations?  Do you know who the book is for; maybe you have a particular child in mind that is working through something?  Does the literature in your classroom or home celebrate and acknowledge the children you are reading it to? Do you, as the reader, prefer books that rhyme, or that are funny?  

We have created a simple checklist that we use when considering a new book?  We hope that you find this helpful when adding to your library as well.


Division: The Doorbell Rang  by: Pat Hutchins

the doorbell rang

Fractions:  Give Me Half!  by: Stuart J. Murphy

give me half

Patterns:  Growing Patterns Fibonacci Numbers in Nature  by: Sarah C. Campbell


Measurement:  Inch by Inch  by: Leo Leonni

inch by inch



Covid-19: Let's Talk About the Plan; A recourse to help young children understand the pandemic, is a book filled with photographs of real people living through the era of Coronavirus.  There are questions at the end to help support children with questions they may have.


nest_2.jpg Birds are a wonderful life science to study.  They can be found in any neighborhood all over the world.  Birds are one of nature's engineers.  When they build a nest they follow the design process by defining a need, choosing materials, building, modifying and testing   Connecting children to the world around them provides them with a personal relationship to nature and an appreciation of the complexity of living things.



It's time to say goodbye.  Time rushed by as Bunnies turned to Dolphins, Dolphin to Penguins. Penguins to Koalas, Koalas to Raccoons, Raccoons to Beavers and Beavers to kindergartners.

It's also time to say goodbye to Annie.  Annie has been a Beaver teacher for 3 years and has decided its time to go back to school to pursue her dream to become an occupational therapist. We will miss her dearly.  These goodbyes remind me how important it is to slow down and take time to enjoy the little things.  Take a minute and check out this charming book at the front desk.


a_drop_of_water.jpg During the hot summer months, the Children's Center at Caltech has been investigating water.  We can't think of any substance that children love to investigate more than water.  When we look at water through the lens of STEM the possibilities are everywhere.  Literacy is one of the many ways we come to understand the world.  We want to share two of our favorite books on water.  One is factual and one is magical, but both are great!