1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, 2011) details the ecological and human impact of the Columbian exchange. As a dense book full of research carefully explained and expanded, 1493 was certainly not a book I “galloped” through, as one of the historian commentators exclaims on the back cover. But

Read Post

Fungus is Among Us! by Joy Keller (Innovation Press, 2019) has a fictional and rhyming story-line that follows a girl walking in a forest and through her home. Throughout her walk, she learns about all the fungus that is in her life. This includes mushrooms, moss, mold on old food and on shower walls (ewwww).

Read Post

Just as in another book in the series that I read, Bethany Barton’s I’m Trying to Love Germs (Viking Books, 2023) is a story told in alternating voices, this time between a human and a microscopic germ, this time teaching the reader basic facts about microorganisms. It includes interactive elements, such as “just move your

Read Post

Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton (Candlewick, 2020) is a gloriously illustrated book has a nice balance of illustration to detailed factual text. It teaches about the variety of life on earth, including animals, plants, fungi, and microbes. Italicized sidebars also expand upon the read-aloud text with

Read Post

Jason Chin’s illustrations in Coral Reefs: A Journey Through an Aquatic World Full of Wonder (Square Fish, 2016) create an imaginative story of a girl reading this same book and being swept away in an actual coral reef ecosystem. I love the creative illustrations and the details shown in the text. It is a gorgeous

Read Post

It must be difficult to write a nonfiction book for young children that will both instruct and keep a child engaged in continuing to read. Germs by John Devolle (Pushkin Press, June 2023) is a nonfiction picture book that nicely balances facts with humor and amusing bright geometric illustrations. I was amazed at the amount

Read Post

We’re entering an era where the beginning of COVID-19 is actually a part of history, which feels incredibly weird to me. Nevertheless, it’s clear that the world’s success in overcoming the dangerous beginning stages of the virus was in motion long before the virus showed up. In Never Give Up by Debbie Dadey, illustrated by

Read Post

Making More: How Life Begins by Katherine Roy (Norton Young Readers, March 2023) is a middle-grade nonfiction tome about animal reproduction, plant reproduction, and even fungi reproduction. In short, it will help every young reader gain a better insight into just how living things “make more” and continue the life cycle. The first and last

Read Post

The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi and illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker (Schwartz & Wade, 2011) is based on the true story of two beekeepers who live in Brooklyn, New York. With fantastic collage and oil painting illustrations, it tells the story of Fred, who checks on his bees every morning, and at the end of the summer

Read Post

Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan Shea (2011, Blue Apple Books) is simple, delightfully fun picture book for the discerning child. Using windowed lift-the-flap pages, Shea asks which things around us grow, using familiar growing progression as a comparison. For example, my favorite one was this, “if a kit grows and becomes

Read Post

I wanted to read more about genetics, so I picked up The X in Sex: How the X Chromosome Controls Our Lives by David Bainbridge (Harvard University Press, 2003), which focuses on the genetics of the sex chromosomes. It was a very engaging and easy to understand book, and it has left me even more interested in

Read Post