by Claire Eamer,

Marie-Eve Tremblay (Illustrations)

4 Stars

Publisher: “Wherever you go, tiny hitchhikers tag along for the ride,” this intriguing illustrated nonfiction book begins. “The hitchhikers are actually microbes — tiny living things so small that you need a microscope to see them. And every person carries around trillions and trillions of these critters.” Six of the most common “critters” that live in and on our bodies are introduced here: bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, protists and mites. Each one has its own preferred environment, and readers will be startled (and likely a little grossed out!) by the many places they live, including the hair follicles on our faces, the folds of our tongues and the lengths of our guts. Just as surprising, only some of them are “bad guys” that cause disease, and many of them are actually “good guys” that keep us healthy. There’s even research currently being done on ways to improve or fix our collection of microbes as a way to make us healthier. Author Claire Eamer’s clear, well-organized and accessible writing — augmented throughout with fun facts and silly microbe jokes in sidebars — keeps the book interesting and enjoyable. Marie-Ève Tremblay’s bright and cheerfully funny illustrations bring the details to delightful life. With its cutting-edge information about a topic children will find fascinating, this book makes an excellent complement to a life science lesson on the human body. It would also work well for a class on healthy living. A table of contents, glossary and index are included.

My Review: This was a cute nonfiction picture book about microbes. The book does a great job of explaining what a microbe is, the different forms that they take, pro’s/ cons of some microbes, current/past studies and much more. The language and explanations will be great for young readers to understand. Even though there is a lot of things explained in this book, this is still a complicated subject. I liked the following quote from the book: “Basically, the human microbiome is complicated — and the more we learn, the more complicated it seems.” This book talks about both good and bad microbes. It also cautions us that when we kill or get rid of microbes, we can not separate good from bad and might get rid of some of the good, necessary ones. That is a good reason to be careful about taking so many antibiotics. I liked the section on save our microbes. It talks about playing outside, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, play with a pet, try not to use anti-bacterial soaps and shampoos etc. The glossary at the back of the book is also a great teaching tool. The illustrations are cute and quirky. I liked that they used graphics and cartoon style illustrations as this would appeal to kids and not frighten them or gross them out like the real pictures might.

This is a great book for school libraries and classrooms, especially when learning about the human body and for health classes.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.