Philip Bunting, Me, Microbes & I., Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, June 2021, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760507923
Published in the middle of 2021 when we were still enduring lockdowns and vaccine mandates, this timely picture book introduces primary-aged readers to the fascinating world of microbiology. Using his unique artistic style and sense of humour, Philip Bunting describes different types of microbes and illustrated them in full colour. As with the humans in the book, he makes them look cute with their expressive eyes and differing shapes.
The impact the various types of microbes have on us and our surroundings, such as causing disease and populating our gut flora, is explained as is the immune system and tips for staying healthy. There are also lots of little jokes and comments in the small print and full stops are a feature of the headings.
While the visual representations of the bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other members of our microbiota are not exactly accurate, the information around them is. Some of the vocabulary is scientific and several species are given their Latin nomenclature. Although this is a picture book, a glossary may have been a useful addition, as much for the adults sharing the book as the young readers themselves.
An entertaining and informative non-fiction picture book, this book was listed in the Eve Pownall category of the CBCA Notable Books of 2022.
Reviewed by Lynne Babbage