Title: Melia and Jo
Author: Billy Aronson
Illustrator: Jennifer Oxley
Published: February 2018
Theme: Cooperation and Friendship
Character Origin: Human
Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 48
Ages: 4-7 | Book Level: |Lexile Measure: AD610L
Synopsis: Melia is scientific and loves to create things in her backyard laboratory, but something is missing. Her inventions just aren’t quite right. Enter Jo, her new friend with an artistic spirit. When you add the arts to sciences, something magical happens! This whimsically illustrated picture book is the perfect introduction to the benefits of STEAM-focused curriculum.
This story is about Melia, an inventor. Only her inventions never quite worked or were just missing something. That is until she met, Jo, her quirky new neighbor. The unlikely pair form a friendship and begin creating together.
“Can we be a team, Jo?”
This is a STEAM book! An actual girls in STEAM book. This book highlights how girls can invent things and how differences can actually be the connective tissue that brings us together. Jo’s artistic approach allowed Melia to view her inventions differently. Art and Science–are you sensing a theme here? And I love it!
The illustrations were well done and there was a nice flow to the story. The writer including diversity among the girls further emphasizes that differences are okay. I found the STEAM pages at the end a nice touch and a great way to remind young girls that they belong in STEAM. Melia and Jo are my new STEAM Dream Team!