Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends, and Foes
Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends, and Foes
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Annotation: Introduces readers to harmful and helpful germs, looking at their discovery, historic diseases they have caused, the discovery of scientific methods of dealing with them, and some of the ways that they are helpful.
Genre: Biology
Catalog Number: #135453
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Ransome, James,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-8050-7915-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-8050-7915-9
Dewey: 579.3
LCCN: 2016016208
Dimensions: 25 x 29 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Sam (Salmonella) narrates a breezy historical tour of bacteria, yeast, mold, and other microbes and their sometimes antagonistic, sometimes beneficial relationship with humans. Microscopic life is portrayed as anthropomorphized critters alongside scientists, doctors, and patients in the watercolor, pencil, and mixed-media illustrations. James Ransome includes occasional backgrounds of impressionistic yet scientifically accurate bacterial colonies. Font size and color varies to highlight important scientific terms. Glos.
Kirkus Reviews
Colorful bacteria cavort among people of various races in this simple introduction to germs.Anthropomorphic bacteria, yeasts, molds, fungi, and viruses are depicted wearing clothes, marching in armies, climbing ladders to play on a giant fingernail, and ebulliently gathering to watch football on television. Other pages include illustrations of much more realistic-looking germs. Text, occasionally swirling across the pages, complements the playful illustrations to provide information in clear, child-friendly language. (Unfortunately, the explanation for “that funny sound you sometimes hear in your belly when you’re hungry?…it’s us germs breaking down the food!” is inaccurate; these sounds are caused by peristaltic movement of partially digested food.) Helpfully, the book also draws attention to useful microorganisms as well as the disease-causing varieties and offers very introductory information on some early scientific discoveries, mentioning microscope inventor Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek and the work of Louis Pasteur. Soft, attractive pencil, watercolor, and mixed-media illustrations match well with the text, and their energy enhances the presentation. A useful, rather detailed glossary and a short essay on the value of hand-washing follow, although some listeners may wonder why anyone would want to wash away such cute little critters. That is better explained by Nicola Davies’ Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes, illustrated by Emily Sutton (2014). An amusing more than informative overview of germs for an audience that may find the whole business mildly bemusing. (Informational picture book. 4-7)
Publishers Weekly
Narrated by a bacterium--Let me introduce myself. I was born Salmonella (but only my mom calls me that). My friends call me Sam--this picture book by the Ransomes (Just a Lucky So and So) offers a light and lively education in the world of microorganisms. Mustachioed or overalls wearing, football watching or bespectacled, the many-hued, anthropomorphized germs that populate the book can often look downright friendly. Sam-s commentary includes a brief description of microbes, passing mentions of scientists who revolutionized their study (namely Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Louis Pasteur), a short list of the diseases they can cause, and the benefits of -good germs.- The conversational tone and cartoon-styled, mixed-media illustrations never let things get too weighty. -Antibacterial this and antibacterial that, and even face masks? Just surviving the day has become a full-time job!- notes Sam as gas-mask-toting germs peer warily into a well-stocked cabinet of cleaning supplies. A glossary and an afterword that touches on antibacterial resistance and the importance of hand-washing wraps up this accessible and none-too-scary primer. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)-

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2&12; An informational picture book dedicated to the icky, sticky, and disgusting world of germs. The work is narrated by Sam the Salmonella, an anthropomorphized strain of the bacteria, and is thematically divided into two sections: the evolution of human understanding of germs, and the positive and negative aspects of the microorganisms. Sam takes readers on a journey through time, from the belief that evil spirits caused disease to the discoveries of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Louis Pasteur. The second half begins rather abruptly, with Sam decrying the damage done by yellow fever, black death, and scarlet fever and blaming these insidious germs for overshadowing the beneficial effects that "good" bacteria have had on the world, specifically in regard to food creation and decomposition of organic matter. While the narrative is a bit uneven in tone, the playful color illustrations of people and germ types provide a consistently edifying backdrop to the text. However, an image of a male pilgrim and a Native American man sharing a plate of corn may prove to be problematic. VERDICT An adequate introduction to the world of germs for young elementary students.&12; Colleen S. Banick, Westport Public Schools, CT
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (8/1/17)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (12/1/16)
Word Count: 793
Reading Level: 4.6
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.6 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 198388 / grade: Lower Grades
Guided Reading Level: R
Fountas & Pinnell: R

Come meet the good, the bad, and the ugly--yes, germs! There's so much to discover about germs. Did you know that germs make your stomach growl as they break down your food? Or that they can travel the world on anything from fleas and ticks to trains and buses? Told from the perspective of Sam the Salmonella, this informative picture book introduces young readers to helpful and harmful germs, exploring their discovery; the breakout of historic diseases; the invention of pasteurization, vaccination, and penicillin; and other fascinating details about the world of microscopic organisms. A Christy Ottaviano Book

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