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Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes Hardcover – Aug 26 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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  • Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (Aug. 26 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763673153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763673154
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 0.9 x 29.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 23 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #144,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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

Davies 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. ... 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.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Simply written and concise... Reminiscent of the Provensens’ artwork in its combination of formal structure and amiable tone, Sutton’s large-scale illustrations help children to visualize microorganisms and processes that are too small to see. The sequence of simple images illustrating multiplying microbes is quite effective. A handsome and rewarding picture book about the power of "tiny creatures."
—Booklist (starred review)

Davies’s writing is straightforward but not dry; in fact, she puts the scale and numbers of microbes into fascinating contexts. ... 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.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

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. ... Davies and Sutton illuminate the world of germs, fermenters, and composters in a charming, succinct package.
—Publishers Weekly

Davies introduces a likely brand-new—and immediately intriguing—concept to young readers: that there are vast quantities of living things (microbes) that are smaller than the eye can see. She does it not with dull lists of Latin terms and classification charts but instead through creative, easy-to-relate-to analogies, and itchy-but-cool facts about the microbes that live on and in us. An emphasis on scale, particularly size and quantity, helps children grasp the abstract concepts... The tone is light and inquisitive yet also scientifically precise, covering topics such as the shape and variety of microbes, their function, and reproduction.
—The Horn Book

Using well-drawn pictures and simple, scientific text readers see microbes up close in their stunning variety of shapes and sizes. Two young children accompany this microbe journey, providing a backdrop of our world where microbes are constantly in action. This book is a wonderful introduction to the microscopic world of microbes.
—Library Media Connection

Simple descriptions and comparisons help explain this group of organisms... The colorful examples and vivid explanations help bring this unseen world to life. ... The figures, in a retro autumnal palette on cream matte pages, have a charming naïveté.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Nicola Davies imparts a sense of wonder at the variety and abundance of near-invisible life-forms in "Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes," which owes its appeal as much to Emily Sutton’s beautiful, slightly old-fashioned illustrations as to the author’s clear and simple writing.
—The Wall Street Journal

For curious minds and budding scientists, this introduction makes the giant job of minuscule microbes understandable and fascinating.
—Shelf Awareness for Readers

This book makes the invisible familiar and provides a foundation for a friendly, not adversarial, relationship between tiny people and tiny creatures.

About 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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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
love it! am an infection specialist and have so much fun with my 5 year old and this book
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love, love, love this book!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great science for the young reader. Nov. 23 2014
By Heidi Grange - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Microbes as organisms too small to be seen by the human eye are a topic that would be hard for children to understand since it's a rather abstract concept. Nicola Davies has done an excellent job in explaining the concept of these small creatures that out number people by many millions to one. The amazing world of microbes comes to life in Davies' words and Sutton's illustrations. There is just enough detail to be interesting without becoming overly complicated for the intended audience. The illustrations show the differences in sizes between different microbes and how different they look as well as how quickly they can multiply. It's a subject that can be rather overwhelming yet made palatable by the excellent work of Davies and Sutton.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a book for children should be. Feb. 16 2015
By VANYC - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just perfection. Outstanding illustration and easy-to-digest text -- my science-loving two-year-old is as inquisitive as ever. This book has introduced the fascinating world of microbes -- and there's no turning back! My daughter now loves to tell me there are microbes everywhere, she loves to wash microbes off her hands, loves to draw microbes, and simply just loves this book and will "read" it to herself cover to cover. Quite possibly the most loved book in our collection. I would give it ten stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great little book of little organisms April 22 2016
By Liberty Justice - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The artwork is beautiful in this book. My only complaint is that some of the information is inaccurate. I'm a biology professor, so I was a little disappointed in some of the information presented, but overall it is a great book to introduce kids to the microscopic world.
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly reccomend - lovely book Jan. 12 2017
By Brett Armstrong - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a gift for my 4.5 year old nice because my wife is a microbiologist. She really loves the book and now keeps talking about microbes and drawing her own.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the level of science is perfect - a nice simplification on accurate science.

I highly recommend it for the young scientist in your life.
5.0 out of 5 stars GENIUS! Sept. 19 2014
By sabine - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very unusual and TERRIFIC book. My three-year-old granddaughter loves it and is now happily drawing pictures of microbes. She will continue to enjoy it for several years because it's packed with information presented in a clear and interesting manner. I am planning to contact the author and illustrator to thank them. I'll end this recommendation in the way I urge my friends to buy it: "It's just genius!"