It got really quiet in the backseat as I was driving the other day. I looked in my rear-view mirror to see my nine-year-old son reading DK Books The Bacteria Book, The Bit World of Really Tiny Microbes by Steve Mould ($20.99). He read quietly for about 15 minutes before he started sharing bits of knowledge with me. I was also read the part about toxins, diarrhea and cholera. He has picked up the book many times since then, reading pieces and sharing what he learned.

It is a fascinating read. I found myself reading most of the book before realizing it was time to, you know, work. Microbes are super interesting and Mould (is that really his name?) does a fabulous job of explaining things so it makes sense to people without much knowledge about these things. I particularly liked how Mould showed the size of a bacteria: “If you were shrunk down to the size of a bacteria, a grain of rice wold seem bigger than a mountain.”

I love the mix of real pictures of microbes as well as the graphic elements. There is a lot of information in each section, but it’s written in short chunks so it’s easy to read.

Gross and fascinating facts found in DK Books' The Bacteria Book by Steve Mould.
Gross and fascinating facts found in DK Books’ The Bacteria Book.

Some interesting, cool, disgusting facts and observations:

  • The picture of the bacteriophage virus attaching to a bacteria cell reminds me aliens
  • One-cell bacteria reproduce by dividing into two copies of themselves. “After 12 hours, one bacteria cell can grow and divide into 70 billion.” Yikes. No wonder sicknesses hit so fast.
  • “A person carries about 4.4 pounds in and one their body.” Also kind of gross, but many are good so don’t panic.
  • You can, however, panic about this disgusting fact:

“Half of all people have demodex living in their eyelashes. Demodex are a type of animal called a mite that are about .02 inches long. They have eight legs and walk around on our eyelids at night.”

Oh, please, tell me I am not one of those people.

A copy of this book was provided by DK Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.