Friday 4 July 2014

Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes

Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton (Walker Books)
HC RRP $ 27.95
ISBN 9781406341041
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This is the first microbiology book directed at the 5+ age group. A challenging subject for kids, some might say, but none-the-less, it is for those that like to be challenged.

Microbes are creatures so tiny they have to be magnified to become visible. They are microscopic organisms that ‘are the oldest form of life on earth.’ Some microbes cause illness and others keep humans in good health. Millions of them are contained in a drop of water and billions in a teaspoon of soil. These amounts are represented by pictures of people in the illustrations so children can get a visual image of how many they are.

Emily Sutton’s first book for Walker is superbly produced in attractive, full page pictures with bold colours, and end pages that depict the various microbe forms. The images go to great length to satisfy curious minds and encourage questions and answers between adult and child.

I found this interesting book well presented with language and layouts ideal for its target audience. On display are the various types of microbes, their shapes and sizes, and how the things that microbes eat, become something else, i.e. waste food becomes compost. There is an explanation on how and why microbes split, and the outcome of splitting.

Nicola Davies has dared to take on a complex subject and make it accessible to the young in clear and easy-to- understand prose. This valuable book should be included in all public and school libraries, and children’s home collections.  

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