Monthly Archives: December 2016

What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur? selected for 2017 Best STEM Books list


Reading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) trade books is the perfect way for students to build literacy skills while learning STEM content. Building upon a strong legacy of recommending science trade books, this year the a newly created book review panel has been appointed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to select the Best STEM Books of the year. The first list will be selected by volunteer educators, assembled in cooperation with the Children’s Book Council (CBC).

STEM is more than a concept diagram with connections among four (or more) subject areas. It’s a unique way of knowing and exploring the world. The STEM approach involves the essence of the practices of science and engineering. Tools like mathematics, technology and communication skills are interwoven in STEM explorations. That seamlessness is what challenges educators around the world. And nowhere is that more obvious than when teachers look to find literature to integrate into a STEM curriculum.

To represent the philosophy of STEM, NSTA invited a unique collaboration with three other groups, the American Association of Engineering Educators, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, and the mathematics reps from Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees. Through almost a year of study, the group came up with these criteria for the best STEM literature for young readers:

The best books would Invite STEM-like thinking by

  • Modeling real world innovation
  • Embracing real world design, invention and innovation
  • Connecting with authentic experiences
  • Showing assimilation of new ideas
  • Illustrating teamwork, diverse skills, creativity, and cooperation
  • Inviting divergent thinking and doing
  • Integrating interdisciplinary and creative approaches
  • Exploring multiple solutions to problems
  • Addressing connections between STEM disciplines
  • Exploring Engineering Habits of Mind
    • Systems thinking
    • Creativity
    • Optimization
    • Collaboration

The best STEM books might represent the practices of science and engineering by

  • Asking questions, solving problems, designing and redesigning
  • Integrating STEM disciplines
  • Showing the progressive changes that characterize invention and/or engineering by
  • Demonstrating designing or redesigning, improving, building, or repairing a product or idea
  • Showing the process of working through trial and error
  • Progressively developing better engineering solutions
  • Analyzing efforts and makes necessary modifications along the way
  • Illustrates at points, failure might happen and that is acceptable providing reflection and learning occurs
    • Communication
    • Ethical considerations

Best STEM Books is a joint project of the American Society for Engineering Education,  International Technology and Engineering Educators AssociationNational Science Teachers AssociationSociety of Elementary Presidential Awardees, and the Children’s Book Council. The list aims to provide recommendations to educators, librarians, parents, and guardians for the best trade books with STEM content. 


entreBuy ‘What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?’
Download the Discussion and Activity Guide




To access the list, click here.
To download the list, click here.

Little Pickle Press March(es) 4th!

Why Little Pickle Press changed its name to March 4th

You may have noticed we recently changed our corporate name from Little Pickle Press, Inc. to March 4th, Inc., and here’s why.

Why change the name?

Earlier this year I wrote an article for The Independent titled, “It’s the Why that Matters.” The “Why” of Little Pickle Press has been “to create media that fosters kindness in young people and to do so in a manner congruent with that mission.” Just like the audience for whom we create stories, we’ve experienced growth and change since launching in 2009. This has led us to broaden our purpose to better reflect that maturity and to adopt the name March 4th in support of that change. As March 4th, we remain steadfast to our original “Why,” yet we now aim to magnify its impact by “inspiring character development in young people.”

We further determined that our expanded “Why” would best be met through changes in our corporate structure. The “Little Pickle” brand will continue as one of three marketing age-appropriate stories and related products to consumers—Little Pickle Stories (ages 0-10), Big Dill Stories (ages 11-14), and Relish Stories (ages 15+). We will also establish two wholly owned subsidiaries—March 4th Properties, our intellectual property (IP) holding company, and March 4th Productions, an operating company tasked with leveraging that IP beyond publishing (e.g., videos, feature films, merchandise, audio, and apps).

Why March 4th?

“March 4th” is the only date in the year that, when spoken, is also a declarative sentence (try it: “March forth!”), and not just any sentence, but one that connotes forward momentum and strong character traits such as decisiveness and courage. The fact that March 4th acts as both a homophone and double entendre is a fitting homage to our literary roots.

Why should you care?

The recent US election only deepened our belief that if society is to flourish (well, survive), it must imbue character traits such as kindnesshonestybravery, and patience in young people, both by example and through education. The challenge is that people, especially children, learn best when they are unaware they’re learning—that’s where March 4th comes in. We view this challenge as an opportunity to shape our future by providing young people and their caring adults an ever-increasing selection of stories and products that engage and entertain young minds while relaying the value of character and inspiring its development.

Kind regards,
Rana DiOrio
Founder and CEO, March 4th, Inc.