When you submit a picture book manuscript, it’s important to have a strong hook. Or preferably, multiple hooks. The “hook” is what will motivate a reader/buyer to choose your book. An educational hook can add extra value and often make a book particularly appealing to educators, and therefore, editors.
In my book Someday, Maybe (Holt/Macmillan, March 2023) I take a look at a number of STEAM concepts via the imaginations of children who are dreaming about what kinds of jobs they could have in the future. STEAM stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Architecture, and Math.
Have you tried incorporating STEAM concepts into your manuscripts to add an educational layer? There are many to choose from. The trick is to incorporate them in a fun, age-appropriate way. Here are just a few examples of ways to incorporate STEAM concepts for young readers (preK to early elementary school):
-Addition and subtraction
-Testing solutions to a problem and observing results
-Observing the environment
-Oceans, deserts, snowy forests, and other habitats
-Body parts and processes
-Plant life cycle
And much more! If you want inspiration for writing something new, or you feel your current manuscript could use another layer, try adding a STEAM concept. It might be just the thing you need for a successful writing experiment.
For more STEM inspiration, be sure to check out Cookie & Milk by Michele McAvoy - this First Place Dragonfly Book Award winner breaks stereotypes and puts the fabulousness of STEM in the limelight!