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.
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.