NONFICTION

The Essential Guide to STEAM: Making an Art Out of Science!

B Small. May 2020. 48p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781911509936.
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Gr 2-4–Barker’s illustrations are the star in this collection of key STEAM concepts. In a brief introduction, the authors emphasize that the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math are closely linked and that they work together to improve human lives. Twenty-three art-heavy spreads describe topics such as electricity, gravity, the big bang, calculations, measurements, creative thinking, groundbreaking technology, household engineering, and more. The varied spreads often contain definitions of scientific terminology, “Did You Know?” asides, and quiz questions. While the topics are interesting and the bright, cartoon-style artwork is utilized sufficiently to inform the target age group, the book lacks a table of contents, an index, and any narrative to explain the connections between the subjects. Young American readers may be confused by the British terminology and spelling used throughout (torch instead of flashlight, fish fingers instead of fish sticks, aeroplane instead of airplane, etc.) and will probably miss out on some of the fun wordplay.
VERDICT Although the book effectively introduces some foundational STEAM ideas and features engaging illustrations, the lack of a well-defined organizational structure hampers its usefulness as an educational resource. A secondary purchase.

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