STEM Books for Science Saturday: Swap!


Swap!An old ship. A sad friend. A button . . . An idea. Let’s SWAP!

In a young scalawag’s first tale of bartering, a peg-legged youngster sets out to help his captain repair his vessel. One button for three teacups. SWAP! Two teacups for four coils of rope. SWAP! And so it goes, until the little swashbuckler secures sails, anchors, a ship’s wheel, and more . . . including a happy friend. Steve Light’s intricate pen-and-ink illustrations, punctuated by brilliant blue and other hues, anchor this clever tale of friendship and ingenuity.



Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2

About the Author
Steve Light grew up in an enchanted place known as New Jersey. He went on to study Illustration at Pratt Institute, he also had the pleasure of studying and mentoring under Dave Passalacqua. Upon graduating he did some corporate illustrations for companies such as: AT&T, Sony Films, Absolut Vodka and the New York Times Book Review. Steve Light then went on to design buttons that were acquired by the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum.

Then came a great opportunity for Steve to teach art to small children. Through his experiences as a teacher he found his true calling as a children’s illustrator and storyteller. He has been teaching in the classroom for over 10 years with children 3-6 years old. He has used this experience to help him publish 8 children’s books by Abrams, Candlewick Press and Chronicle Books. Steve’s books include: I am Happy a touch and feel book, Puss in Boots, The Shoemaker Extraordinaire, Uncle Sam a press out and play book, and 2 Hello Kitty books that he engineered. The Shoemaker Extraordinaire was in the children’s book show at the Society of Illustrators. The Shoemaker Extraordinaire even led to Steve being asked to design an ad for United Airlines that was advertised in Japan. Steve’s newest books are Trucks Go, Trains Go, Diggers Go, Planes Go, Boats Go and The Bunny Burrow Buyers Book. As well as The Christmas Giant, Zephyr takes Flight, Have You Seen My Dragon, Have You Seen My Monster?.

Steve Light’s storytelling to small children inspired him to create storyboxes for some classic stories. These storyboxes consist of wooden figures that he has hand-carved and uses to dramatize the story. By being in the classroom and sharing stories with children this way, he has seen its effect on their young imaginations. Steve Light often observes children acting out his stories and creating their own “books” as well as creating their own props and characters. Steve Light’s storyboxes give the tales that children already love a new dimension. He also creates sculptures that are inspired by popular folk and fairy tales. Steve Light has had the opportunity to share his storyboxes with children in numerous schools, museums, libraries and events. The storyboxes have led Steve to create a TV show pilot “Storytime with Steve Light”. Steve’s greatest joy is being able to share stories with children and introducing them to new worlds that they can only visit with their imaginations. Steve’s website is