Bearport Publishers has introduced a remarkable and intriguing new series called Up Close and Gross: Microscopic Creatures by author Ruth Owen. Four books make up this exciting collection: Creepy Backyard Invaders, Gross Body Invaders, Icky House Invaders, and Disgusting Food Invaders. I have previewed one of the books in the series—Disgusting Food Invaders. The book is full of amazing close-up photographs of creatures captured in graphic detail, both visible and invisible to the naked eye. For instance, children can see a fruit fly 55 times its actual size, so the hairs that cover its body and the amazing eyes can be examined. Food invaders like bacteria and mold are shown as well as lesser known intruders like thrips and cheese mites. The stunning pictures consistently set Bearport’s non-fictions series apart, but they also have educational and fascinating facts about these creatures. Readers will learn how some of these invaders are harmful while others are seen as beneficial. The informative text has the student audience in mind. Engaging and concise, it is written on a third grade reading level, making is accessible to children of all ages to read independently or to listen enthusiastically.
I highly recommend the Up Close and Gross series for parents and educators to add to their personal libraries. On the practical side, readers will walk away with a further awareness of the importance of washing their hands and protecting their food. In addition, their insight and knowledge of invisible worlds within their own will be widened. The books are a great addition to a science curriculum or as enrichment.