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Fictional Picture Books with STEM topics

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My current WIP is a fictional story in a real setting with ties to STEM - specifically science.

 How do you show/prove/suggest your story would be a good fit in the classroom?
Is there a list of STEM topics?

I have facts about the natural environment woven into the story & am working on backmatter.
#1 - October 06, 2019, 05:30 AM
https://marlalesage.com/
PIRATE YEAR ROUND (Acorn Press, 2019)

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The story has to come first Marla. And that often means simplifying the research. I'll give you an example--my story Teeter Totter is a very good demonstration of its physics. In my original version, I was also trying to show how weight influences the distance where you sit from the fulcrum (the pivot point). Also my animals were mean to one another (all taken from my childhood). The editor loved the story but wanted it simplified. I was very happy with the way it turned out...and my animals were even nice to each other.

https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com/2011/01/feast-of-epiphany.html  has a picture of the story. And when I did a search I discovered it's also narrated. Cool!

Similar story with Ten Easter Eggs--in the beginning they were very mathematical, doing geometry as well, but when I refocused the text to only chick-like things and then rhymed it, it was picked up from the slush. So my advice is to keep the STEM element focused just on one thing and really work on the story. Make sure you have age appropriate conflict and a resolution. A surprise is always helpful.

Good luck!
#2 - October 06, 2019, 08:56 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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Totally agree with Vijaya (no surprise there). Story comes first. I have two books that are nonfictiony-fiction, Prudence the Part-Time Cow and A Chip Off the Old Block. Prudence is about a cow who's trying to fit in with her herd, but her science-mind makes it hard. Chip is about a rock trying to find his place in the world. It contains lots of rock puns and nonfiction back matter about rocks, etc. Good luck!
#3 - October 06, 2019, 11:52 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

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Thank you ladies! Story first isn't really the problem though... I've polished the story & then thought is there a STEM twist here. I'm just having a hard time knowing if it fits within the curriculum for the targeted age range of the story.  & if it does, how do I include that in my pitch to publishers - or do I?

I'm using the backmatter to expand on the science that is in the story but not explained beyond what is necessary for the story itself to make sense. 
In the backmatter I've included info on tides, some info about the tidal zone ecosystem & animals that live there.  Some facts are presented in the story but in a very natural way - if they weren't there the story wouldn't make sense and the plot is dependent on the setting!
#4 - October 06, 2019, 02:32 PM
https://marlalesage.com/
PIRATE YEAR ROUND (Acorn Press, 2019)

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Ah, gotcha! When I want to know what the science standards are in my state for certain grades, I google the Dept of Elem Ed and look at their science curriculum. BUT (easier?) if you can find NF books for kids at your library that cover your topic or similar topics in the age range your ms targets, then I'm betting you're on solid ground.

As to the pitch, I'm not sure you need to be super-specific for publishers; usually "Ages: 4-8" works for most PBs.
#5 - October 06, 2019, 02:44 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
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Maybe I'm over thinking it!  lol
#6 - October 06, 2019, 04:09 PM
https://marlalesage.com/
PIRATE YEAR ROUND (Acorn Press, 2019)

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 :goodluck
#7 - October 06, 2019, 04:21 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

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If the STEM connection is there, publishers will see it. But most traditional publishers are geared toward the trade market with sales to teachers as a bonus. Mentioning you have back matter about the tides available alone will be enough to point out the curriculum tie in.

You can look up the Next Generation Science Standards to get an idea of the standards, but not everything is topic-specific. Kids will be curious is enough.
#8 - October 06, 2019, 08:02 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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Marla, that's great you have the story. As Debbie says, kids will enjoy it--relevant backmatter is an excellent way to tie it into the school curriculum. You needn't be overly specific in your query because it'd be useful for teachers in multiple grades. I love tides--our backyard abuts a tidal marsh and it is such a fascinating ecosystem. Good luck!!!
#9 - October 07, 2019, 07:46 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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