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STEM Reading Adventures While the Snow Flies

by Diann Gano, M.Ed

“Can you read it again? PLEASE?” 

Frigid temps and gray days lead to lots of reading as we weather the winter season.

As February unfolds, I am thrilled to present a series of STEM books guaranteed to educate, enrich and entertain early learners while the snow flies.

It’s difficult to find books that balance exceptional educational content with engaging storylines, but these books deliver on both fronts.

Each book on this list is so good that you won’t mind when your young STEM explorers beg you over and over to “read it again“!


The Storytelling Math series features children using math during their daily adventures as they play, build and explore the world around them.

These delightful stories go beyond common early math topics such as counting and shapes to explore topics such as patterns, categorizing and spatial reasoning—topics that lay the foundation for later math success but are rarely included in early math books and learning materials.

This series focuses on math concepts that young children encounter in their daily lives. Packed with content that will introduce your early learners to patterns, spatial relationships and everyday math vocabulary words, these little gems also reflect the diversity of our world with characters, authors and illustrators from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Each book concludes with suggestions for further math exploration.

I love the whole series but the books featured here are our favorites!

Our most requested book in this series is Bracelets for Bina’s Brothers. This book has inspired discussions about siblings, educated us about the holiday traditions of our friends and neighbors, introduced us to patterns and engaged us in problem-solving activities. In this celebration of Raksha Bandhan (a Hindu festival honoring the sibling relationship), the youngest sibling, Bina, is determined to make bracelets for each of her three brothers. Vijay loves blue but doesn’t like green. Siddharth is fond of green but can’t stand orange. Arjun likes orange but is sick of blue. With three colors to work with, Bina works hard to get the bracelets just right. This book often leads to requests for beads as we work on our own bracelet patterns, which adds Art to our endeavors for a full STEAM experience.

As much as my gang loves bracelets, I love Usha and the Big Digger—a beautifully illustrated tale about a girl who loves trucks. This book addresses rotation, geometry and spatial relationships, along with looking at things from different perspectives. Cousins survey the same part of the night sky and see different constellations on a starry night. After they switch vantage points, they each see what the other has seen. As the cousins rotate, they see the Big Dipper rotate too. This book features Indian-American characters, as well as insights into different cultures, their interpretations of constellations and their stories about the stars. When storytime is over, you’ll find some fun STEM activities to extend the learning—as well as a great tutorial on how to do a cartwheel.

We are big fans of Sara Levine and her many science books, so I knew that we were in for a treat when I saw that she was one of the authors in the Storytelling Math series. In her book, The Animals Would Not Sleep!, it’s bedtime for Marco and his stuffed animals, but the animals will have none of it. When Marco tries to put them away, they fly, swim and slither right out of their bins. Marco tries sorting the animals in different ways, but nothing works and the animals start getting cranky. How can Marco make everyone happy and put an end to the mayhem? He thinks like a scientist to come up with a solution. This is another favorite that will stimulate plenty of discussion and help build problem-solving skills. It will also pave the way for some fun stuffed-animal play in your classroom!


Having a cloudy week and need a little bit of inspiration? Reach out to your library for any of these wonderful titles. They are guaranteed to enliven your learning and lift children and adults alike out of the February doldrums. Enjoy your winter reading adventures!



Storytelling Math was developed in collaboration with the math experts at the STEM education nonprofit, TERC, with support from the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Looking for a great resource for multicultural picture books? Check out Diverse Book Finder, the go-to resource for librarians, educators, parents and others interested in creating picture-book collections that reflect the diverse cultures and lifestyles of the children who read them.

4 Replies to “STEM Reading Adventures While the Snow Flies”

  1. My kids are so into animals right now.This book will fit in perfect! cant wait to see if they have it at my library

  2. I can’t wait to find these books for our classroom. There is a fairly limited variety of math books that also tie in other inclusive themes such as culture and diversity. The art for these stories are also absolutely beautiful.

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