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Engaging STEM Books For Children: If I Built a Car!

Shining a light on STEM-themed books for March's Reading Month.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's time to give STEM books their chance to shine as educators increasingly shift their focus towards incorporating science, technology, engineering and math into their classrooms.

So, in celebration of March's reading month, we are giving you some STEM-based options that your kiddos are sure to love!

Chris Van Dusen had a goal of taking kids on an inspirational journey in his children's book, If I Built a Car. 

It was Van Dusen's imagination that got his career started.

"One day when I was working on an illustration for a magazine, an idea popped into my head," Van Dusen said. "Which over time became my first book and surprisingly it was published."

Van Dusen rhymes his way through his book using a Dr. Seuss-style formula. It's based on the 1950s and 60s dream of flying cars and is done with the intent to get kids’ brains thinking about what they would do if given the chance to engineer something themselves. And it worked. 

"Since these books have come out it has been really rewarding for me. Kids send me all kinds of creations they come up with after reading the story. So they are sparking their imagination and starting to think creatively," explained Van Dusen. 

Invoking an environment that takes the reader to a place where their imagination then turns into action is not an easy task to fill. Although, Van Dusen has a standard way of accomplishing that. 

"I really try to take kids to a place they haven’t been or show them something they haven’t seen," Van Dusen said. 

Bringing children on an entertaining journey that makes them ask who, what, where, when, and why. The key questions to thinking like a scientist.

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