Here are some outstanding books for all levels of graduation — from elementary, high school and higher. The appropriate age will be given for each book and all are packed with information and/or inspiration.
First Steps in Coding: What’s an Algorithm?: A Splash Park Adventure, by Kaitlyn Siu and bright and easy to follow illustrations for instructions by Marcelo Badari, is one book in a series of outstanding books for beginners in computer language. In this particular book, two robots make plans to visit a splash park. Kids, ages five through eight, begin to understand through the robot’s experiences (algorithms) as well as problems as they encounter computer bugs (debugging). The other books in this series include What’s Sequencing? A School Day Adventure!, What’s a Variable? A Storytime Adventure and What’s Branching? A Birthday Adventure. All books in the series are wonderfully illustrated and written by the same author, (who is also a neuroscientist). Each book has a glossary, guide and index found in the back of each thin paperback book.
Oceanarium: Welcome to the Museum, by Loveday Trinixk and amazingly accurate illustrations done in graphite and watercolor with color added digitally by Teagan White, is another over-sized edition for the intrepid explorer of museum books. This book takes the reader to the oceans of the world exploring some of the most extraordinary animals and water habitats found in the depths. There are gorgeous coral reefs, interesting Portuguese man-of-war creatures, giant white sharks, and tide pools. The detail painted by the illustrator is both beautiful and accurate. This book could ignite an interest in one of the many occupations pertaining to the ocean!
The Path, by Bob Staake, is a picture book that has a theme of life and the path you choose to take. A youngster represents the reader as the text is all in first person. It’s about the path and what happens as you walk a well-worn path that many others have taken before you. As you walk, you’ll encounter obstacles and walking may become very difficult. But ultimately you will overcome those problems and choose your own way. The strongest theme here is persistence, perseverance and enjoying the walk along the way. This book is a perfect segue for discussions for all ages. The bright color on the open pages was done digitally.
Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math, by Jeannine Atkins, is a non-fiction filled with poetic information about seven amazing women who trailblaze to reveal magnificent discoveries helping mankind. Hertha Marks Ayrton was the first female electrical engineer and registered Twenty-six patents. Marie Tharp developed an map for the ocean floor which was a valuable tool greatly helping scientists understand the underwater world as well as how continents shift. This is just a short look into two of these great women. There is more information found at the back of the book about each of these women as well as a brief note from the author. If you have a ten-year-old or older that enjoys science and math, this book is a must have!
Kid Engineer: Working With Buildings and Structures, by Izzy Howell, is part of a new series to help kids, ages nine and up, with hands-on experience in the world of engineering. This book showcases structures and how there are balances and equations to keep them from collapsing. Other books include energy, transports, and different types of materials to build with. All of these books include projects to build as well as successful examples. The other author involved in writing these outstanding books is Sonja Newland.
Tilda Tries Again, by Tom Percival, is all about not giving up and trying again when everything feels not quite right. Young Tilda is feeling like her life is just not going the way she’d like. She doesn’t even feel like playing with her friends. But an interesting encounter with a tiny ladybug turns everything around. She feels brave inspired to turn around and try until she can achieve anything. This is a terrific lesson for everyone, but the book is geared more for kids ages three to seven.
Take a Breath, by Sujean Rim, has some excellent advice as your youngster, ages four through adult, considers the future. This picture book has Bob the bird striving to fly and encountering some grave challenges. A crow recommends a helpful hint to just take a break and breathe. This is the time for those who are anxious about anything to reflect and just inhale for a long breath. There is much humor found throughout making this a delight and inspired read. The illustrations are adorable of Bob and were done in watercolor, pencil and digital.
Meena’s Mindful Moment, by Tina Athaide and delightfully illustrated digitally with hand-drawn textures by Asa Gilland, takes place in India or that region of the world. Wherever it takes place, Meena is full of energy that equates to hurly-burly hullabaloo and her life is all smiles and movement as she goes through her day. But when it causes problems, her Dada teaches her how to control it so she’s still happy but not bothering others. This picture book is best for kids three to eight.