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Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes
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Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes

5.0 2
by Nicola Davies, Emily Sutton (Illustrator)
 

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"Sutton’s large-scale illustrations help children to visualize microorganisms and processes that are too small to see. . . . A handsome and rewarding picture book." — Booklist (starred review)

All around the world—in the sea, in the soil, in the air, and in your body—there are living things so tiny that millions could fit on

Overview

"Sutton’s large-scale illustrations help children to visualize microorganisms and processes that are too small to see. . . . A handsome and rewarding picture book." — Booklist (starred review)

All around the world—in the sea, in the soil, in the air, and in your body—there are living things so tiny that millions could fit on an ant’s antenna. They’re busy doing all sorts of things, from giving you a cold and making yogurt to eroding mountains and helping to make the air we breathe.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Maria Russo
By the end of the book, Davies and Sutton have beautifully made the case that microbes are "the invisible transformers of our world—the tiniest lives doing some of the biggest jobs." Both Davies's tone and the charming retro-ish watercolor illustrations by Sutton seem likely to please young children by balancing repetition and flights of fancy.
Publishers Weekly
05/26/2014
Zoologist and children’s author Davies (Outside Your Window) adds another book about the natural world to her extensive repertoire as she introduces microbes to readers. A straightforward narrative packed with comparisons sheds light on “the invisible transformers of our world,” while clever, inviting watercolors help put those comparisons into context. Sutton’s paintings, reminiscent of mid 20th-century children’s book art with their subtle hues and naïve styling, lend a nostalgic, almost cozy feel to the pages. In one spread, smiling, waving people in a skyline full of towering buildings illustrate the idea that “A single drop of seawater can hold twenty million microbes. That’s about the same as the number of people in New York State.” Another spread contains circular vignettes like petri dishes under a microscope, each with a different microbe: “Some are skinny. Some have wiggling tails. Some look like daisies.” An apparent brother-sister duo appear throughout—getting stomachaches, gardening—to demonstrate the connection between these ubiquitous microbes and human life. Davies and Sutton illuminate the world of germs, fermenters, and composters in a charming, succinct package. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Davies introduces readers to microbes, creatures so small that a drop of seawater can hold twenty million of them and a teaspoon of soil, a billion. They live everywhere—on and in everything and everyone. There are many different kinds, large and small. Some varieties are illustrated as seen through a microscope. We are shown how, by eating, microbes change things like food into compost and rocks into soil. They also split and multiply rapidly. Some microbes are germs that make us sick, while others recycle to make soils or help make air fit to breathe. They are “invisible transformers…the tiniest lives doing some of the biggest jobs.” Sutton’s watercolor illustrations are naturalistic but decorative. They depict both people and objects in common settings, and show the varied microbes as magnified. Microbes also fill the end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz; Ages 5 to 8.
School Library Journal
★ 07/01/2014
Gr 2–4—A pleasant, picture book-style look at a rather icky topic: microbes, the teeny tiny critters that live on us and in us and everywhere around us, with an impact that belies their minute size. Davies's writing is straightforward but not dry; in fact, she puts the scale and numbers of microbes into fascinating contexts. For instance, to make the millions of microbes on an ant's antenna visible, the antenna would have to be enlarged to the size of a whale. Sutton's folk-art illustrations are rendered in earthy tones on creamy paper and feature two smiling kiddos and a winsome cat, making for a warm visual presentation (who'd have thought a paramecium could be pretty?). This really is an enjoyable beginner's look at these miniscule organisms and the effect they can have on everything from our bodies to the soil to the clouds in the sky.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-05-14
Invisible to the human eye, some of the tiniest creatures are known do some of the biggest jobs on Earth.Davies, who surveyed Extreme Animals (illustrated by Neal Layton, 2006) and encouraged readers to look Outside Your Window (illustrated by Mark Hearld, 2012), here presents examples of microbial life and the work that microbes do. This experienced science communicator makes an immediate connection to her readers, using their prior knowledge of big whales and small ants to convey how tiny microbes can be. She gives examples of their sizes and numbers, their varied shapes, their habitats, appetites and how they eat. Microorganisms slowly change food into compost, milk into yogurt and rocks into soil. They reproduce by dividing, and they're very good at it. Luckily, only a few can make us sick; most are busily engaged in other vital tasks. They are "the invisible transformers of our world." Sutton's watercolor illustrations support and enhance the text. Thoughtful book design adds to the appeal, with generous white space, illustrative vignettes as well as paintings that fill a page or a spread, and an unusually legible type. This will show well when read aloud and intrigue emergent readers.Very little information is available for this age group about these microscopic creatures, making this an especially welcome introduction. (Informational picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
By the end of the book, Davies and Sutton have beautifully made the case that microbes are "the invisible transformers of our world — the tiniest lives doing some of the biggest jobs." Both Davies’s tone and the charming retro-ish watercolor illustrations by Sutton seem likely to please young children by balancing repetition and flights of fancy.
—The New York Times

Sutton’s large-scale illustrations help children to visualize microorganisms and processes that are too small to see. . . . A handsome and rewarding picture book about the power of "tiny creatures."
—Booklist (starred review)

Very little information is available for this age group about these microscopic creatures, making this an especially welcome introduction.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

This really is an enjoyable beginner’s look at these miniscule organisms and the effect they can have on everything from our bodies to the soil to the clouds in the sky.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763673154
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
08/26/2014
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
435,758
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 11.40(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
AD1020L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Nicola Davies is a zoologist and an award-winning author whose many books for children include Surprising Sharks, Extreme Animals, and Gaia Warriors. She lives in Wales.

Emily Sutton has a degree in illustration from Edinburgh College of Art. She says, "Illustrating Tiny Creatures has opened my eyes to the incredible and unexpected beauty of a world so small that it can’t be seen without a microscope. I was amazed by the variety and complexity of microbes, and I loved drawing all of their intricate details and patterns." She lives in York, England.

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Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
What a treat! Years ago children only learned about "germs" and there was no distinction between good and bad germs, size (other than we can't see them, but they make you sick), or the vast universe of germs. No, it was simply not a viable educational subject until somewhere along high school. In Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes the author and illustrator bring this vast universe of microbes (germs) to the young child - even the non-reader. The book is suitable for non-readers and on well into elementary school. Microbes are so much more than germs that make one sick. They change the world. They create different substances out of original substances. They are the stuff that compost is made of. The stuff that makes yogurt into yogurt. They come in a plethora of shapes; and they are, simply put, everywhere! They are energetically and magically adept at making more of themselves. The illustrations are simply drawn with colors that engage visually. The little boy and girl that are discovering the world of microbes are drawn in such a sweet, charming manner that your little boy or girl will identify with them as they discover microbes.   A super good book to introduce children to the science of the unseen world of microbes of which germs are only a small part. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.
YoungMensanBookParade More than 1 year ago
A fun and interesting read! I like this book a lot. It is really interesting and fun to read. I am good at science, and my dad is a scientist but still I learned so much new stuff from this book. Before this book I didn’t even know what a microbe was or if it was a real word! Two of the many facts I learned: 1) Microbes are very very small and come in all shapes in sizes and 2) One microbe splits into 2, then 4, then 8, then 16 and so it is now easy to understand how getting one bad germ in my body can make me so sick. This is the kind of book I would read again and again. Even though it is simple enough for me to read on my own, the book makes me wonder about things and ask Mom and Dad questions. It even is making me think about STEM fair projects I want to do. I can’t wait to share this book with my class at school. I know they will like it as much as I do. Lucy H., Age 7, Tampa Bay Mensa