• Suzie Olsen

STEM Product Review: Aliana Reaches for the Moon

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

Time for my second review for Multicultural Children's Book Day (MCBD), which is on January 25 this year-- Aliana Reaches for the Moon by Laura Roettiger. I'm so thrilled that STEM Spark received another picture book featuring a girl enjoying STEM activities to review for MCBD!

And as a reminder, here's a little bit about MCBD. Multicultural Children’s Book Day in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 


We received an advance reader copy from the publisher in exchange for our honest review, and also to note is that the advance copy differs a little from the final print copy. But, I'm over the moon about Aliana Reaches for the Moon, so let's launch into the full review of the book.


Will your kid(s) like it, or will you (the adult) hate it (that it don't matter if they like it)?

Aliana Reaches for the Moon is a charming STEAM story. Aliana is a girl who enjoys learning new things and also likes to create and build science and art projects. She is currently learning about the moon and it's different phase, and he brother's birthday is coming up. So Aliana combines her love of crafting with what she learns about the moon to make her brother a really amazing birthday gift. Jack seemed to enjoy hearing the story read aloud, and he really liked talking about the different phases of the moon. I love the character of Aliana and her love of learning, and I appreciated the author's notes on the different phases of the moon. The illustrations were delightful, and children learn about the moon and how art can be used to enhance science. My one quibble with the book is that there was one or two scenes that could have been cut from the book, and the story would have been the same. But overall, Aliana Reaches for the Moon is a charming STEAM story interweaving science and art.


How long will it keep them entertained?

This is a book that Jack and I plan to read over and over again. I also think a great accompanying activity for the book would be replicating the art project that Aliana created for her brother's birthday. Aliana's project is made out of things easily found around the house, and I think children would have fun building one. I'd give more details what the project is, but I don't want to spoil the ending of the book. ;-)


Was it a good value?

Yes, $9.99 for the paperback (here) and $14.99 for the hardback (here) are reasonable prices for this charming book.


And what are the ninja-secret STEM skills added through play?

What I like about this book is that in addition to learning about the moon and its different phase, there's also a building and arts component with Aliana's gift to her brother. And Aliana will be a great role model for budding scientists and artists!


STEM Spark's overall rating for this books (using Amazon's rating system) is a 4 out of 5 stars. You and your child will enjoy reading this charming STEAM book, so check it out from your local library or indie bookstore or buy a copy online here! And for a fun tie-in, I'm raffling off these children's space socks! Follow the Rafflecopter below (or click here). Hope everyone has a fun Multicultural Children's Book Day! Happy reading!



MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-

*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN


Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,


MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar,One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett,Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka,Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell,Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC


We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.


Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms,Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground


TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media

MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.


FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/


Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.


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