STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Little Kids First Big Book of How

first book of howLittle Kids First Big Book of How

by Jill Esbaum

128 pages; ages 4-8

National Geographic Kids, 2016

This book lives up to its name: it has a little bit of everything in it written in small sections in language kids will understand. Want to know how ice cream is made or how microwave ovens work? It’s in there. Want to know about bicycle gears? It’s in there. Want to learn the best way to make bread moldy? It’s in there too.


The section I like best is the one about animals because – there are OCEAN animals in there! Jellyfish. Octopuses. Humpback whales.

Jellyfish have long, soft tentacles – but beware! They have venom and can shoot that so fast you don’t even know you’ve been stung until it’s already happened.

Octopuses are amazing creatures: they have no bones and can squeeze anywhere, and have three hearts. Also, they squirt ink when they’re startled or afraid. There’s a couple photographs to show where the ink comes out, and what it looks like. And did you know that the smallest octopus can sit on a penny?

The section about humpback whales focuses on how they communicate with each other. They sing. They make bloop-bloop sounds. They groan and moan. They even slap their tails on the surface of the water. All those sounds must mean something – but what?

There’s a table of contents listing topics by group: around the home, human body, animals, and more. There’s also an index to aid in searches for specific topics. Each section ends with a game and throughout the book there are lots of hands-on investigations. There’s even a page of “parent tips” with additional activities – including a recipe for ice cream.  Review copy provided by publisher.

STEM Friday

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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