Greg’s Microscope by Millicent Selsam (illustrated by Arnold Lobel and published 1963) is an early reader that explores the variety of small things that may be seen through a microscope. It is easily accessible, even to an early reader, because of the friendly, story-like tone to the book. It has a dialogue-based story of Greg asking his parents for a microscope and then learning how to use it. The educational information is blended in with a fictional story, with plenty of dialogue and action to keep the attention of the reader.
Greg’s Microscope emphasizes the majesty of the world we cannot see with our naked eyes as he looks at salt, sugar, thread, onion cells, and much more under the microscope. In addition to how to use the microscope, Greg observes the differences between the various items on the microscopic level. Lobel’s illustrations show the images as they would appear through the microscope. Towards the end of the book Greg explores the differences between plant and animal cells. His parents are likewise enthralled with the things they are observing.
Greg’s Microscope would be a great introduction to using a microscope as well as for learning about various physical science concepts. There is no end matter, but rather the information is put right in the text. This is a great example of an educational “living” book.