Art, Books, Learning, Reviews

From Our Microbiome to the Largest Land Biome

Today, I have two books for you… that takes us from our microbiome to the largest land biome! So as I travel from one biome to another, here is trusting my gut that you will enjoy these books as much as I did!!

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The Books

Gut Garden

Book Info

Title: Gut Garden: A Journey Into the Wonderful World of Your Microbiome
Author: Katie Brosnan
Illustrator:Katie Brosnan
Publishers:Cicada Books
Pub Date: April 7, 2020
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction / Science & Nature / Biology
Age-Range: 6 – 10 years (and older too!)
Source: Edelweiss

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My Thoughts

From giving a broad overview of microbes in our world, to the microbes in our body, and then finally zooming in to the microbes in our own mirobiome (the large intestine, or as she terms it in the title, the gut garden) Katie Brosnan takes us on a wonderful journey of exploration and learning.

We start this journey with the food that enters our bodies through our mouth; and continue along as it goes through the food pipe, stomach, small intestine and large intestine, and finally leaves us as poo!

What I Loved
  • Truly lots to learn and discover in this book; for example, did you know that virus means “slimy liquid” in Latin? I certainly learned many things I did not know before this book!
  • Brosnan’s artwork! Her use of a range of cute, colorful creatures is sure to attract young readers while making learning fun and interesting.
  • All those big words!! (like archaea and ideonella sakaiensis; and lots more that you will discover through this book)! So while I loved it, it can be overwhelming for the youngest readers of the target audience who might need someone older to read along with them.
  • It is sure to ignite curiosity among most of its readers (young and old alike) and invite them to learn and research more!
  • Brosnan’s writing style as well as the fun illustrations make sure that the book does not bore you; and will help open doors for many discussions as you read this book. For example, phrases like “in some ways you are more of a home to microbes than you are a person” to point out that the microbes in our body outnumber cells by 20 percent.
  • And of course, kids will love the mention of all those bodily function and bodily noises words they find mightily funny!!
What Could Have Made It Better

It would have been much more wonderful with the inclusion of

  • a pronunciation guide (at the bottom of each page maybe; or next to those big words I was talking about)
  • a glossary, an appendix, and further reading resources as well as resources the author herself referred to for writing this book
  • some of the pages seem too busy or crowded with all the drawings and text in various text boxes; so this is not a quick read (though it is fun)

In Summary

A must add for classroom and home libraries, that is sure to help with many future science projects. (Don’t forget that young readers might need some help with this book)

Get It Here

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Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for providing me with digital review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Boreal Forest

Title: The Boreal Forest: A Year in the World’s Largest Land Biome
Author: L. E. Carmichael
Illustrator: Josée Bisaillon
Publishers: Kids Can Press
Pub Date: April 7, 2020
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction / Science & Nature / Trees & Forests
Age-Range: 8 to 12 (and above)
Source: Edelweiss

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My Thoughts

The cover and the title of this book attracted me at first; and I opened it to discover a whole lot more that kept me glued to it to the end.

In beautiful double-page spreads, Carmichael’s almost poetic narrative on the backdrop of beautiful forest scenes works alongside text-boxes in the sidebar containing additional facts to inform and enlighten the reader. Carmichael takes the reader through an year in the boreal forest across different countries as she describes the flora and fauna in the planet’s largest land biome.

What I loved
  • That cool fact that the boreal forest creates a scarf-like ring around the “neck” of our planet! And many more such cool facts I learned throughout the book!!
  • The writing style which combines poetic narrative and scientific facts.
  • Bisaillon’s whimsical mixed media illustrations!!! They are detailed enough to go hand in hand with the information and narrative in the text; and yet have a simplicity that wonderfully conveys the beauty and mood of the seasons.
  • The focus on climate change, as well as on how indigenous people use and care for the forest’s resources.
  • Inclusion of the water cycle and the carbon cycle
  • An excellent glossary as well as comprehensive list of further reading resources
What Could Have Made it Better

The book mentions the water cycle and the carbon cycle in many places, so including those two sections at the beginning of the book might have been more helpful.

In Summary

Another wonderful STEM addition to any child’s library, be it in the classroom or at home!

Get It Here

Book Depository || Target || IndieBound ||
Barnes and Noble

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Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for providing me with digital review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Would You Rather

Today’s WYR

Would you rather explore the mysteries of the human body or outer space?

My choice: the human body.

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, what are your favorite recent nonfiction STEM reads (any age group)? Do give me your recommendations!

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6 thoughts on “From Our Microbiome to the Largest Land Biome

  1. The Gut Garden sounds like a very interested book for young children. I think this is one my 7 year old great granddaughter would enjoy. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful books for readers of all ages.

  2. I don’t read much nonfiction at all and not anything juvenile, so I really appreciate you bringing these to my attention.

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