Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes is the newest book from zoologist and children's book author extraordinaire, Nicola Davies. As always, Davies is paired with a wonderful illustrator, this time Emily Sutton, who brings wonderful detail and engaging colors to this look at the smallest of living things. Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes is sure to start conversations the minute you turn the last page.
Davies begins her book by presenting wonderful examples of just how small microbes are by using things both large and small that will be familiar to young readers and listeners whales and ants. From there, she goes on to make comparisons that will further help readers understand that which they cannot see with their own eyes.
Davies tells readers that a single 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." Once their massive numbers are established, Davies goes onto to share where microbes are and what microbes can do. From the good ones to the bad ones, the ones inside us and out and all their various forms, Davies makes this vast topic graspable.
This is especially so when she is talking about what microbes do, like turning soil into compost and milk into yogurt. I loved Sutton's giant illustration of a paramecium microbe, but my favorite part of the book came when author and illustrator showed readers how microbes expand by using the E. coli microbe as an example over the course of four pages.
Davies ends on a reassuring note, telling readers that only a few microbes can make humans sick while "most microbes are busy doing other things," like enriching the soil so new things can grow and making the air good to breathe.
A completely enthralling book, the only thing I might have added to Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes would be photographs of some actual microbes to round out the experience.
Source: Review Copy