Official Review: What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 8492
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 07:14
2017 Reading Goal: 125
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 384
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Upon a Peak in Darien by David Pearson
Reading Device: B0051QVF7A
Publishing Contest Votes: 13

Official Review: What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z

Post by ALynnPowers »

[Following is an official review of "What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z" by Tiffani Teachey.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z by Tiffani Teachey is an alphabet book for children. Just as you would expect in a children’s ABC book, each page depicts a different letter of the alphabet with a corresponding word beginning with that letter. But this is not your typical ABC book for little kiddos; there will be no “A is for Apple” here. As the title implies, it’s all about careers within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, from Astronaut to Zoologist.

Although it is a children’s book, I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s for young children. Upper elementary school students would more likely benefit from this book. So unlike other ABC books, this one isn’t about teaching the alphabet; it’s about teaching different options for STEM careers. And while the list of careers isn’t extensive by any means – there is only one career per letter – it at least gives a starting point for students to open up their minds about potential futures. There is also a brief description about what someone in that career does. To top it all off, there are cute little cartoon depictions of six diverse recurring characters to go with each description.

This book stood out to me because, by pure chance, I started working at a science and engineering middle/high school just a month or so ago. Coming from an “artsy” background, I was overwhelmed by the curriculum these students are expected to learn; even sixth graders take engineering classes! Even so, most of them don’t really know the point of these STEM classes that are part of their core curriculum. With that in mind, I could easily picture the pages of this book on a poster hung up around the border of one of their classrooms. I know I personally could have done with something like this 20 or so years ago!

The down side of the book is that it is merely an ABC book with a brief sentence or two per page. It’s short and sweet, and it accomplishes exactly what it needs to do and nothing more. There is a lot of potential for conversation and/or classroom curriculum to be stimulated from this book (e.g., explaining the challenging vocabulary presented throughout the book, research projects to go further in depth on the duties of the careers, an interview with someone in that career, etc.), and I almost wish that some of those conversations were at least initiated within this book. A little bit more in-depth information about each career would have been awesome, even in glossary form so as to not take away from the illustrations on each page.

Overall, I thought this was a great book, and I gladly give it 4 out of 4 stars. The subject is great, and the way it is presented is beautiful. The pictures look amazing on my black-and-white Kindle, so I can only imagine how great they look in full color. As I mentioned above, a poster version or an alphabet border strip of this book would be fantastic and could be hanging on classroom walls right now. I would recommend this book especially to STEM teachers to initiate conversation and open up the minds of their students to potential future careers within promising fields.

What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z
View: on Bookshelves

User avatar
Review Team Guidelines Team Leader
Posts: 4991
Joined: 29 Apr 2017, 02:00
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 76
2018 Reading Goal: 104
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 65
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 50
Currently Reading: Adult Children
Bookshelf Size: 319
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: El Paso by Michael Van Cleve
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by ButterscotchCherrie »

I assume there's a clear message that girls can pursue these STEM careers as much as boys? I think it's great for young kids to see such images. I can remember books that pictured Mummy doing the housework and would have loved input like this. I enjoyed your excellently written review.

User avatar
Posts: 818
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:01
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 11
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 80
Favorite Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 138
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Math Gold by Al Pasha
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Ever_Reading »

What an awesome idea for a children's book! It's crucial to get young kids interested in STEM as early as possible. I'm glad you enjoyed the book and found the illustrations appropriate. Great review!
Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy.
— Charlaine Harris :techie-studyingbrown:
Latest Review: Math Gold by Al Pasha

User avatar
Posts: 1145
Joined: 31 Jul 2019, 11:11
Favorite Book: Crushing
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 131
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Online Meeting Survival Guide by Paul Richards

Post by MsH2k »

What a wonderful idea to present 25+ STEM career possibilities to elementary school students in this way! I may recommend this book to my local library. Thanks for your review!

User avatar
Posts: 6
Joined: 18 Dec 2019, 07:36
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 10

Post by LiLeaBrand »

This is amazing! What a great idea to gear the minds of young kids in the direction of STEM careers. Big ups to the author! My daughter is learning her ABC’s now so she is perhaps a bit young for this, but I will incest in this book for her future. Thank you for the great review!

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10158
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 86
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 344
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: A clock with Feet by Miss Henny

Post by kandscreeley »

What a great way to learn about career options. I've seen STEM, but I didn't actually know what it stood for. Thanks for explaining it! I'm not the age group, but I would recommend it to children.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
Posts: 1222
Joined: 17 Sep 2018, 22:08
2019 Reading Goal: 70
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 34
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 35
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 122
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Marketing on Fleek by Kobi Ben Meir
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by T_stone »

A children's book written to help younger folks know about their career options through the STEM method. I'd like to see more of what this book entails.

User avatar
Posts: 257
Joined: 07 Feb 2020, 11:12
2019 Reading Goal: 50
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 70
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Real Secrets Of Life by Krishna Jagarnath

Post by Amy747 »

I love Abc books of different topics. Every child is different and every alphabet should be different too. Multitasking or multi teaching at its best.

Post Reply

Return to “Children's Books”