NONFICTION

Fungus is Among Us!

Innovation Pr. Sept. 2019. 40p. bibliog. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781943147649.
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Gr 1-4–This narrative nonfiction title, written in couplet rhymes, is all about fungi. The main character, sporting oversize Snapchat-style glasses, blueish-black hair, and one sagging sock, mouth open in a scream, is frightened by the prospect that she can’t escape fungus. It’s along the trail she hikes, in the tree she climbs, in her yard, and even in her house. The bathroom, refrigerator, and kitchen all contain fungus. The only acceptable fungus lives in the pizza her dad is making (mushrooms and yeast in the dough). Keller points out that fungi are everywhere, even on humans. The protagonist eventually accepts that fungi are helpful and not necessarily as scary as she first anticipated. Small print mixed in among the pages provides additional scientific information. Illustrations are bold and bright. The fungi are depicted with goggle eyes and tiny mouths. Back matter contains an interview with a mycologist who answers questions about what the job entails.
VERDICT A fun introductory piece of informational poetry that will be enjoyed by many age groups. Great paired with Carla Billups and Dawn Cusick’s It’s a Fungus Among Us: The Good, the Bad & the Downright Scary.

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