A children's book about microbes? Get out of here! It was this book Tiny The Invisible World of Microbes which introduced me to author Nicola Davies. This book is actually about microbes and is for young children, I would say it is fantastic for preschoolers up. It covers complex topics such as microbes being all around us, how they are very small, how they can make us sick but can also be good for us. And just touches on topics such as milk turning into yoghurt and making compost which can be further explored at home. I have a science degree but still wouldn't have known how to explain these topics to children - this book is a great starting point. It's really such a surprise book for me as I haven't seen or read any other book on such a topic for such young children. It's also a bit outside the box, how many preschoolers are thinking about microbes? Isn't it a wonderful topic to explore with them.
"People often think that it’s impossible to cover difficult topics for small children, that they won’t understand it all. And that’s quite right, they won’t understand everything there is to know about microbiology – and neither do I – but what picture books can do is to give young readers a start of understanding , a seedbed into which more complex and complete knowledge can be planted later on." Author Nicola Davies.
So after being totally fascinated with this book and Nicola's approach to children I really wanted to check out a few of her other books. Above is Outside Your Window, A First Book of Nature. Although I am talking about the author here, this book has gorgeous illustration. I would suggest for toddlers up as it is exactly as it states - a first book of nature. It's not a book I would read from start to finish but rather browse and read the pages that the child is interested in. Each page/double page is a different topic (Cherry Blossoms, Rainbows, Planting Seeds etc) although it is broken into seasons for flow. I found this a charming book that I would happily buy as a gift and I am sure will foster a love of nature.
Two other books by Nicola Davies that Otis is enjoying include Big Blue Whale and Bat Loves the Night - we have both books with the CD Audio. Nicola is a zoologist and this love of animals really comes through. Both are engaging (the audio CDs are wonderful) and packed full or details and information about the Blue Whale and the Pipistrelle Bat. I recommend for four and up but really useful for much older children with an interest in these animals. Otis is still drawing, writing and talking about nocturnal animals! Caspar (at 7 years) can easily follow along and still learn a few things. There is much more information than Otis (at 4 years) can absorb. I love the little sound of music when it is time to turn the page - it brings back memories of my own audio books. It's also quiet relaxing for the boys to listen to without necessarily reading the book.
Have you read any books by Nicola Davies? She has written many books on animals such as owls which I think we would also enjoy.