Unseen Worlds: Real Life Microscopic Creatures Hiding All Around Us

Authored by Damien laverdunt
Illustrated by Hélène Rajcak
Published by What on Earth Books

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 and important 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 planet.

This is one of those books that taps into children’s natural curiosity and passion for interesting, 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 this book is that the style of the language used to introduce each chapter is quite lyrical: ‘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 is a good balance of different kinds of prose to maintain interest.

What makes this nonfiction picture book more than just a book full of fascinating facts about this unseen world are the beautiful illustrations throughout, that are also very detailed, to scale and labelled to link the creature to the fact. 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