A few days ago I wrote about how I wanted to share some information about what I have found to be good childrens’ science books (based on reading books to my kids). Well, here is another one: It’s Catching: The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes by Jennifer Gardy and Josh Holinaty.
I first became aware of Jennifer Gardy’s talents in making catchy microbe-themed kids material when she released the Youtube video “The A-Z of Epidemiology: germs from Anthrax to Zoonoses. A disturbing bedtime book for kids.” which is simply awesome. (Note – great animation by Tom Scott):
I watched this video many many many times with my kids – always resulting in painful laughter and entertainment.
I should note that I am collaborating with Jennifer on at least one project (The Kitten Microbiome) and think she is a brilliant scientist and science communicator. But once I saw her “It’s Catching” I realized she really could have a full career as a children’s science book and video maker. It’s Catching is both entertaining (like the video) but also educational with information on the history of microbiology and how microbes are studied. Definitely a good one if you are looking for fun and funny science and/or microbiology themed books for kids.
I was going through some kids’ books today and found quite a few that I thought were wonderful and thought – well – I should post about some of them. So that is what I am going to do.
The first I want to write about is Germ Stories by Arthur Kornberg with Illustrations by Adam Alaniz and Photos by Roberto Kolter.
I used to read it to my daughter all the time (she is two years older than my son) and then sometimes, when she was older, she would read it to my son. A few things I like about this book:
- It is not all about pathogens – there are sections on yeast, penicillin, gut microbes and Myxococcus (although it is miswritten as Myxobacterium).
- Everything is done as poetry / songs. Some are cheesy, but my kids liked them.
- Each section on a different microbes has a little poem/song, a drawing, and a picture or two as well as a few mini facts (or I guess, micro facts).
- The material is a bit scary / gross at times but not too over the top.
Anyway – I definitely recommend it if you want a microbiology book that will be good for reading to and reading by kids.
I added this book to a collection I am making via Amazon on “Microbiology Books for Kids“. I will write about some of the other ones at another time.
UPDATE – Wanted other suggestions for good kids’ microbiology themed books …
OMG. I just got my copy of “Pat Schrödinger’s Kitty” by Tiffany Ard. I only found out about this kid’s science book because the author (at least, I think it was the author) linked to a posting of mine from her “electric boogaloo” blog (in a post about April Fools). And from there I read about how she was invited to Scifoo this year (Damn her — why can’t I get invited again) and how it was a really good day because someone wrote a post about her kids science book. So, since I am a total geek and love reading sciency things to my kids I took a look. And it looked pretty good so I ordered one for me and one to give to my geeky brother.
And I just got it today. And I must say, it is f*$# brilliant. It is a spoof on Pat The Bunny (which I had to read over and over to kid #1 and #2) wherein the same general things that happen in Pat the Bunny are replaced by Schrödinger
kind of things (e.g., “Paul can interact with billions of neutrinos”). This means a lot to me since as a small child my grandfather
, a physicist, used to tell me about relativity and Einstein thought experiments. So I encourage all to get this book, even if you do not have little kids. It is worth a serious giggle for anyone. Still haven’t read it to the kids – had to post about it 20 minutes after opening the mail.