Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak & Julian Frost
Do not lick this book doubles as a fun interactive picture book, and a fascinating science lesson about microbes. Readers are introduced to Min, a cartoon microbe, and encouraged to press the page with their finger to pick Min up and take her on a journey. It’s impossible not to follow the instructions to touch your teeth, clothes and belly button. At each location we get to view something familiar looking very strange; scanning electron microscope images turn paper, teeth and skin into fantastic landscapes, peopled by adorable microbes with names like Rae, Dennis and Jake.
This is a humorous and engaging introduction to microorganisms, written by the author of the bestselling adult science book, Small Wonders: How Microbes Rule Our World, and illustrated by the creator of the viral Dumb Ways to Die video. The talkative microbes we meet are charming and mischievous, even after we find out that they are E.coli, streptococcus, an Aspergillus fungus and a corynebacterium. One pleasant side effect of reading this book may be that kids will take washing their hands, bodies and clothes more seriously (and I would like to add, for the record, that I did not lick the book). Readers aged 4+ will enjoy this science adventure with bonus ‘ick’ factor.
Leanne Hall is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids. She is also the Grants Officer for the Readings Foundation.