I’m Trying to Love Germs

Viking. Nov. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593326725.
K-Gr 3–For readers who ever wondered if germs were good for anything—they are! Barton carefully explains the difference between microbes and pathogens, and between viruses and bacterium in the latest entry in her entertaining “I’m Trying to Love” series. She explains how humans are absolutely covered with microorganisms: some aid bodies with digestion, while others protect against infections on skin. Other microorganisms create foods that humans love, such as cheese and mushrooms. Microorganisms can also cause people to react in ways that are uncomfortable but useful, such as vomiting or sneezing. Brightly colored illustrations help readers understand advanced scientific concepts but are also funny and delightful. The book includes tips for avoiding harmful or pathogenic kinds of microbes. The illustrations also show what microbes really look like; these are cartoonish but realistic enough to demonstrate how scientists can determine, via microscope, what kind of a microbe is at work in a body.
VERDICT This terrific book entertains, informs, and is extremely topical. It’s a first purchase for any collection.

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