Melia and Jo, by Billy Aronson & Jennifer Oxley (2018), shows different types of girls with different strengths. This advanced picture book is a great example of how a story can be fun and still have a strong, positive message.
Melia is a tomboy, and Jo is a girly girl. Melia is a short fair skinned blond and Jo is a tall, stylish African American. Melia is science, engineering and tinkering oriented while Jo is a lover of the humanities who dances, sings, and creates stories. These two girls at first only see their differences, but they come to find the beauty of one another’s point of view and see solutions to problems. They find working together makes their world larger.
In the end, Melia and Jo combine to make a STEAM team. STEAM is Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Melia has a laboratory in her backyard where she tinkers and Jo comes over and adds an artistic sensibility, and they realize they are better off combining their passions.
There are a blueprint and instructions in the back of the book for making a paper airplane. Also, an area for describing the readers STEAM skills with new vocabulary.