It's National Science Week here in Australia and next week is Book Week. To celebrate both, today I'm sharing four really fantastic books about MICROBES!! These books are for children around 5-10years but I still read them to my preschooler. These books are really rich in scientific language. The illustrations help children learn about the world around them, their environment, and what is happening in their bodies.
Let's start with Tiny Creatures.
Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies. The illustrations are so charming! To help children understand the scale of microbes first the comparison is made of the whale and ant antenna. Microbe numbers are discussed in real-world terms "A single drop of seawater can hold twenty million microbes. That's about the same as the number of people in New York State." "And a teaspoon of soil can have as many as a billion microbes. That's about the same as the number of people in the whole of India."
Tiny Creatures is an informative celebration of microbes. Microbes are diverse and can live everywhere, in the sea, air, and soil. There is a visual depiction of how fast E.coli can replicate - 11 and a half hours to fill the page.
Tiny Creatures is a beautiful book that opens our eyes to the wonderful world of microbes, which really do play a huge part in our world.
Me, Microbes and I by Philip Bunting. This is a fun, bold book specifically about microbes.
The language is fun and entertaining. Me Microbes and I explore where we can find microbes (everywhere), why they matter to us, and the different types of microbes.
There is a section on each - bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, archaea, and prions. I also appreciate the explanations of immunity improvers including vaccines, herd immunity, antibiotics, and antivirals. This will help older children understand the current discussions on COVID vaccines. There is also a good section at the end on how to stay healthy including a detailed description of how to wash hands and healthy lifestyle tips (sleep well, eat well, listen to doctor's orders + more).
Gut Garden: A journey into the wonderful world of your MICROBIOME by Katie Brosnan. I had been searching all over for a book that discusses our gut biome. It can feel like abstract topic but is important when we look at the foods we choose to eat, I want my children to understand the importance of food and what happens in their bodies.
It begins with a discussion on the types of microbes - archaea, fungi, bacteria, viruses, protists, and microscopic animals. There are some fun illustrations (above) of some of the more extreme microbes scientists have discovered.
I love these (above) showing just what microbes do in our bodies! It also covers 'The Bay Guys' like viruses and bacteria. Gut Garden has sections on microbes in various body parts including the mouth (which has over 500 species of microbes), throat, stomach, small intestine, the large intestine (the Gut Garden!!), colon, also the role of our immune system, antibiotics, prebiotics and probiotics, and fermentation. Overall this is a fantastic book that covers so many topics that directly impact our health and how we can imporove our health and look after our body!! ❤️Includes an easy recipe for Homemade Sauerkraut.
Unseen Worlds: Real Life Microscopic Creatures Hiding All Around Us by Helene Rajcak. Unseen worlds is all about microscopic creatures in our environment. This is wonderful for children who like exploring the outdoors and wonder what is in the environment around them, especially what we can't see. The environments covered include underwater, the beach, ocean floor, your bed 😳, skin, kitchen, forest floor, moss, calm water, and rivers.
The left side page opens up to a three-page spread with large illustrations and an explanation of the creatures that could be found.
There is a scale at the bottom of the illustrations for reference. At the end of the book, there is an explanation on microscopes including microscopes through history and some details on classifying microorganisms. Because the illustrations are so large and detailed, I know this will also help children who like to draw or paint little creatures.
I'd love to hear if you can suggest other books about microbes, or microorganisms for us to explore!!
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