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Unseen Worlds

Unseen Worlds Real-Life Microscopic Creatures Hiding All Around Us

Published: 24 Oct 2019

Hardback, 36 pages

Recommended for age 7+

By Damien Laverdunt and Helene Rajcak

Published by What on Earth Publishing Ltd

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Discover a hidden universe of microscopic monsters right before your eyes. Unfold each page to reveal stunningly detailed illustrations bursting with jelly-like amoebae, predatory centipedes, ravenous mosquitos and more mites than you could imagine. From the murky ocean depths to your kitchen cupboard and even inside your nose, you'll travel to locations both familiar and strange as you search for the smallest creatures on Planet Earth.

Tagged microbiology

Reviewed by Jo Bowers

Unseen Worlds: Real Life Microscopic Creatures Hiding All Around Us

I love that the first sentence in this book tells you to always have a magnifying glass with you to encourage children to become investigators to find out more about the unseen world. It also sets out to show how vital all microscopic beings are for life on Earth. How, without some, we would not have soil; how some help to recycle our waste and how many help to maintain the natural balance of the planet. And these are just some of the reasons why we need what we often see as quite disgusting living organisms as vital to our world.

This is one of those books that tap into children’s natural curiosity and passion for unusual, fascinating, weird and wonderful facts. It contains hundreds of facts about the unseen creatures everywhere: in the kitchen cupboard; on the ocean floor; forest floors; in your bed and even on you!  This book is jam-packed with facts.

However, what I also like about Unseen Worlds is that the style of lyrical chapter introductions: ‘copepods and ostracods…whirl and twirl’; ‘spiny silhouettes of loriciferans haunt the shadowy waters’; ravenous nematodes wriggle and squirm are just some examples. This then follows through with detailed facts about each organism, so it is a good balance of different kinds of prose to maintain interest.

What makes this nonfiction picturebook more than just a book full of fascinating facts are the beautiful, detailed illustrations, that are to scale and clearly labelled. I also have to say that any book that credits the scientific consultants is a huge plus and deserve to be credited here too: Scientific consultants: Cédric Hubas and Christine Rollard at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris

Jo Bowers is a Principal Lecturer in Primary Education (Literacy) at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She joined the university ten years ago and prior to that was a classroom teacher and English leader in a primary school for nineteen years. Jo has been editor of, and currently sits on the Editorial Board of English 4-11 for the English Association and the UKLA Publications Committee. Jo runs an Open University Reading for Pleasure Teacher Group for teachers in Cardiff and sits on various shortlisting and selection panels for children's book awards, currently the English Association Picture Book Award and the Books Council of Wales Tir na n-Og Award. Jo is a Wales representative for UKLA, reviews books for Just Imagine and writes for English 4-11. She is passionate about children's literature and is happiest when she is reading and surrounded by books.