Do Not Lick This Book*: Book Review

Do Not Lick This Book* It's Full of Germs. Come and read the review of this book aimed at lower primary school kids learning science at Miss Jenny's Classroom.They are all around us…tiny, microscopic…are you brave enough to enter the world of…germs?

Title: Do Not Lick This Book* – *It’s Full of Germs
Author: Idan Ben-Barak
Illustrator: Julian Frost
Photographer: Linnea Rundgren
ISBN: 9781760293055          Language: English

Classification: Fiction/Non-Fiction
Themes: future, cause and effect, human impact

What’s it about?
Follow Min the microbe on a journey around…well, you. Come and meet her fellow microbes that live in you, on you, and on your clothes.

Embrace
The text is simple and yet interesting enough to involve even reluctant readers. This book has a balance of telling Min’s story while weaving in facts about the different microbes that are shown. The illustrations are very simple and yet somehow fit the story well and additionally work well with the electron microscope images.

Beware
So what do they do? Are the good/bad? Why are they there? Some of these are partially answered but I was left feeling like I got told half the story.

Do Not Lick This Book* It's Full of Germs. Come and read the review of this book aimed at lower primary school kids learning science at Miss Jenny's Classroom.My Thoughts
Nominated in the short list for the CBCA’s Book Week 2018 in the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books comes Do Not Lick This Book*. Okay, gotta admit – fantastic title. It’s enough to make anyone go and take a second look to find out why on earth anyone would be licking a book.

Finding good science books to use in the classroom is a tricky business. Usually they are too wordy or use illustrations only which is an annoying element. This book presentation-wise gets it spot on. Min is an engaging little germ who readers will find likeable from the start. There are 4 different germs…aka microbes…introduced in the book – Min (E. Coli), Raw (streptococcus), Dennis (fungus), and Jake (corynebacterium) – and yes, I did have to look at the book to spell those ones!

The book would be a good introduction book for lower-primary classes. I say introduction because for me, having been a specialist science teacher, I found the book was just lacking in some detail. There were snippets about what they do – but to me it was keeping it generic and I think it lacks the ability for kids to connect with the real-world – eg. a fungi can cause an infection – why….? But any teacher should be able to use it as a launch-pad. I remember doing a microscope task with grade 2 students several years ago which could be adapted to use with this book – I’ll dig it out and make it available in some teaching ideas.

Overall, a good one to have but make sure you have other resources ready to investigate this topic further.

A word of caution: I borrowed a copy from the local library to read. It had a funky smell. I could see that the circles had fingerprints…I did not want my kids’ touching their teeth and then the book. Homeschooling? Buy your own copy!

Idan Ben-Barack - author of Do Not Lick This Book*. Website link.

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