Introducing My Friend Robot!: See inside the must-have STEM book with the award-winning author | Barefoot BooksLike many small children, my three-year-old daughter has a big imagination. She excels at thinking outside the box. For instance, playing with her dolls includes pretending to fix the robots my scientist husband works with – and then putting them to bed with her dollies!

Thinking outside the box and promoting imagination and innovation are some of the goals of STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and math). STEM is all about combining ideas and skills that are as different as dolls and robots to come up with something new! It’s a popular topic right now among kids, educators, and caregivers. So when we at Barefoot Books were looking for a subject for our next singalong, I took my inspiration — like so many authors before me — from my daily life!

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to our upcoming singalong My Friend Robot! It’s about a girl who loves robots — but also about so much more. Let’s peel back some of the layers together!

We’re always looking for new topics and subjects to cover in our books, so we packed My Friend Robot! with STEM concepts for kids to learn. This book teaches these topics by following a project step by step — building a treehouse with a robot!

The book covers:

  • Simple machines: The robot and children use one of each of the six simple machines to build the treehouse together. Introducing My Friend Robot!: See inside the must-have STEM book with the award-winning author | Barefoot Books

  • Carpentry: As the treehouse comes together, readers are introduced to different tools, safety equipment and the critical skill of following instructions in a sequence.

  • Programming: When the singalong ends, kids can dive deep into six pages of educational notes to learn more about simple machines, robotics and programming. It even includes a fun game that teaches basic programming principles without a computer! Introducing My Friend Robot!: See inside the must-have STEM book with the award-winning author | Barefoot Books

Introducing My Friend Robot!: See inside the must-have STEM book with the award-winning author

But if I’ve learned anything from being surrounded by robots, it’s this — there’s more to robotics than gears and sensors and code. My husband studies how robots and humans can work as a team, which inspired us to bring a social-emotional angle to the story as well. I wanted to explore what the robot can teach the children, and in turn what the children can teach the robot. So My Friend Robot! can also start conversations about:

  • Independence: Our clever main character builds her robot herself, and comes up with the idea to build a treehouse with her friends. We hope this book empowers children to imagine their own projects. Caregivers and educators can ask: What would you build with a robot friend?

  • Community: Kids and grown-ups alike will be inspired by this diverse group of neighborhood kids collaborating on a treehouse that they can all share.

  • Introducing My Friend Robot!: See inside the must-have STEM book with the award-winning author | Barefoot Books

  • Teamwork: The robot helps the children by sharing what it is good at, like using tools and building, and then the kids get a chance to help the robot by sharing what they’re good at, like…

  • Empathy: When the puppy is nervous about climbing up in the treehouse, the children teach the robot how to empathize with the worried puppy and comfort him.

Who would have thought that a picture book about a robot could be a tool for teaching so many different topics? That’s what you get from carefully crafted, high-quality picture books like the ones we make here at Barefoot Books. It has been such a pleasure to work on this book both as author and editor, to create something that will inspire children like my daughter to innovative, out-of-the-box thinking!

Introducing My Friend Robot!: See inside the must-have STEM book with the award-winning author | Barefoot Books

But there is so much more to this amazing project than what I’ve told you here! Stay tuned to learn more about My Friend Robot!, including its fun illustrations, music, and animation, as we count down to the book’s release this autumn. I can’t wait to tell you all about it! In the meantime, visit our website to learn more about this exciting new book and discover more of our fun STEM stories!

Introducing My Friend Robot!: See inside the must-have STEM book with the award-winning author | Barefoot Books

About the Author

Kate DePalma, Senior Editor | Barefoot Books

Kate DePalma, Senior Editor | Barefoot Books

Kate DePalma
Senior Editor, Barefoot Books
Author, My Friend Robot! (as Sunny Scribens)

As Senior Editor at Barefoot Books, Kate DePalma has helped develop dozens of picture books. She co-authored The Barefoot Book of Children, which has won four awards, including the Nautilus GOLD Award and Foreword INDIES Silver Award for Juvenile Nonfiction. She holds an M.A. in Classics from the University of Texas and is also a published poet and scholar.

 


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