Children's Literature (all forms)

Building STEAM with Dia

STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math for the uninitiated) has been the hot topic on many a librarian’s mind in 2014. ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee has been working recently on creating a specific booklist that showcases the many, many books being published that have a STEAM connection. This STEAM list has a twist though! It focuses not only on STEAM but on another very important topic, Dia (diversity in action). Not only do these books provide a great look at STEAM ideas but they feature a wide array of multicultural backgrounds and experiences. Speaking as one of the members on the committee, this list was immensely fun to put together. It will be a handy collection development tool for anyone (librarian or not!) looking to diversify the STEAM experience for children. Here is a small preview of some of the titles on the list.

For the birth to Pre-K crowd, expect to see concepts set amidst different cultures and experiences.

  • In Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong and illustrated by John Parra, a little girl spends time in her neighborhood discovering shapes. This title is interspersed with Spanish words and a glossary at the end to help readers in their pronunciation.
  • Jennifer Vogel Bass’s Edible Colors will be a great jumping off point for children and caregivers to learn colors and talk about different food experiences.

For older readers, there is exploration and fun to be had in the titles the committee chose.

  • Yuyi Morales’ Viva Frida examines the artwork and creation process for Frida Kahlo in a kid-friendly story that will have readers itching to create art themselves.
  • In Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, failure seems like an all too scary proposition for this small girl. Will it put a halt on her creativity?
  • Patrick Dillon examines the engineering and history behind several famous buildings in The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond. Be sure to have some craft sticks and glue or Legos handy as children attempt to create their own building!

These titles are only the tip of the iceberg! The multicultural STEAM possibilities for programs, storytimes, outreach events, and passive programs will seem endless with this list. And if you are having trouble brainstorming a great activity, the Quicklists committee will provide a few ideas to get you started. Look for the complete Building STEAM with Dia booklist on the ALSC website soon!


Our guest blogger today is Sarah Wethern. Sarah is a Youth Librarian at the Douglas County Library in Alexandria, Minnesota. She is a member of ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee and is an active YALSA member too. You can find her on Twitter (@whtabtpineapple).

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at

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