Idan Ben-Barak (text), Julian Frost (illus.) Do Not Lick This Book, Allen & Unwin, June 2017, 32pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781760293055
This Melbourne-based team has produced a marvellously informative and charming book about bacteria. They use the device of going in so close to paper, cotton, and skin that only a scanning electron microscope can produce images of that alien micro-world. Into this world of seemingly chaotic fibres and layers and lumps they have inserted a number of talking microbes, an e. coli, a streptococcus, a fungus and corynebacterium, who become our guides to the slightly filthy world of microbes. Julian Frost’s illustrations are simple and the bubble texts of the microbes talking are fun to read.
There are some messages to take home from this book, e.g. it’s a good idea to wash your hands a fair few times a day. Nevertheless, it remains a science book, focused upon information, and passionate about knowing about the world we live in. I look forward to sharing this book with future scientists, and then watching them look more carefully at the world around them. A beautiful product, and one full of information worth having. Recommended for 5 to 55 year olds.
Reviewed by Kevin Brophy