Gut Garden: A Journey into the Wonderful World of Your Microbiome

Cicada. Apr. 2020. 44p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781908714725.
Gr 2-6–This illustrated exploration of the body’s gut garden opens with a description of the main categories of microbes (fungi, bacteria, viruses) followed by a brief explanation of the role that microbes play in the world. The focus then turns to the relationship between microbes and the human body. Brosnan describes the symbiotic and largely positive relationship humans have with most microbes as well as the existence of more harmful pathogenic microbes. Next, the text examines how microbes work in the digestive system and how important it is to cultivate a healthy gut microbiome for optimal health. The illustrations are colorful and painterly; each page of this slightly oversize title is filled with anthropomorphized microbes and depictions of the human digestive system that complement the clear and scientific text. The final spread is devoted to the exciting future of microbial research; there is much to discover about the connection between our microbiome and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
VERDICT An effective combination of clear science writing and entertaining illustrations. A great addition to any children’s library or as a complementary text for science classes studying the microbiome.

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