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STEAM Stories Review by Ta’Neisha Kemp

STEAM Stories: The Backyard Build (Engineering)
STEAM Stories: Robot Repairs (Technology)
STEAM Stories: The Great Go-Kart Race (Science)
Jonathan Litton
The Quarto Group
401 North Second Avenue, Suite 310
Minneapolis, MN 55401

STEAM Stories is a series of books that share the tales of Max and Suzy. These two friends always find themselves in the midst of adventure featuring fun that includes science, technology, engineering, art, and math.  Each book introduces a new STEAM concept and challenges for the characters to work through. We received three of these to read and review. These books are written by Jonathan Litton and published by The Quarto Group.

The Great Go-Kart Race (Science) explores pushes and pulls, sources of energy, and different materials. In this book, Max and Suzy are participants in a race. As they are riding along the pair encounters a muddy puddle, a flat tire, and being in a dark tunnel with malfunctioning headlights. After making several adjustments, using the wonders of science, the two land in second place and win an award for problem-solving.

Robot Repairs (Technology) begins in Miss Eureka's workshop where the friends find an old robot. After an accident, Max and Suzy set out to try and bring it back to life.  By using tools, a battery, various items from the workshop, and lots of help from Miss Eureka the two recreated a masterpiece. Making Robbie the Robot allowed them to explore technology via teamwork, finding sources of power, and using the right tool for each job.

The Backyard Build (Engineering) story reveals that a little elbow grease, the right items, and a bit of teamwork can remove gloom from any boring day. Max and Suzy are bored but after seeing how creative Miss Gizmo is, the pair asks her for help.  Of course completing projects will always present plenty of challenges but they learn a lot and conquer each by answering Miss Gizmo's questions. This book explores engineering by choosing the best materials to use, measuring things, designing, and building a swing, slide, and see-saw.

Our family enjoyed reading these interactive stories during school time. The text is neatly placed and easy to follow for moderate readers. The review section located at the back of each book highlights the key components and provides reading comprehension questions. The illustrations are vibrant, colorful, and will definitely keep your child's attention. This STEAM Stories series is a fun and interactive way to introduce young children to various concepts. This set would work well in a home or school library. Each of these 24-page books can be purchased directly from The Quarto Group website for $12.95.

- Product review by Ta'Neisha Kemp, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2018