I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Hands-on-Prints books. I received books to facilitate my review.
As part of our world cultures homeschool curriculum, I am always on the lookout for books that integrate STEM subjects like math and science into geography and learning about other cultures. That is why I was so pleased for the opportunity to review books from Hands-on-Prints, a publisher that seeks to broaden children’s horizons through educational yet entertaining storybooks.
Author Christinia Cheung, who has a Masters in Early Childhood Education, wrote these books based on her experiences starting a Montessori school. It was important to her that the books broaden children’s consciousness and inspire them to learn and discover.
Her books do just that, integrating academic subjects such as geometry and botany into engaging books that children of different ages can enjoy. I love that many are interactive, with creative “lift-the-flap” or layered elements, adding to the unique experience of engaging with physical books.
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Global STEM Books for Elementary Students
Nuts for Coconuts is a charming book that celebrates coconuts and the many ways they are enjoyed around the world! Young readers will be drawn in by the lively illustrations, which take them on a journey to places as diverse as India, Malaysia, and Hawaii. The rhyming text describes the many ways the coconut has been used across different cultures – from curries and candies to brooms and insect repellent! I love that the book also includes additional nutritional information about coconuts at the very end. Children (and adults!) will never look at the coconut the same way again!
Another book that focuses on the natural world is A Persistent Vine. This award-winning book is set during Japan’s Heian period, as a wealthy couple seek to create an exotic flower garden in their country home. They are alarmed when the morning glory flower – which neither had planted – is found by their young daughter. They know that this “persistent” plant will quickly choke the others if not checked, so they exert themselves to eradicate it, with surprising results. This beautiful tale is a wonderful way to discuss invasive species as well as to get children thinking about our relationship with nature and to what degree we can (or should) control it.
The most academic of the books is Geometry through Architecture: The Chartres Cathedral; yet it is still utterly gorgeous and captivating. Through stunning illustrations and detailed explanations, the book takes the reader on a tour of the medieval Cathedral of Chartres in France. Beyond the fascinating story of this particular cathedral and its symbolism, the book introduces children to the concept that there is more to a building than meets the eye. Builders often try to convey a story or a feeling to the viewer, as “Spirit meets Matter.” In medieval times in particular, the geometry of architecture held great spiritual significance and was meant to educate and guide visitors, as so beautifully illustrated here.
I highly recommend these and other works from Hands-on-Prints. The books are all unique, inspiring children to explore and discover the world around them.