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A Garden in Your Belly: Meet the Microbes in Your Gut Hardcover – Picture Book, October 6, 2020

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2-5-The bacteria inside the human gut may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a topic for a children's book, but D'yans has made the subject very approachable. The metaphors of a river and a garden are used to describe the intestines and stomach, allowing readers to visualize the microorganisms involved. The text explains how each person's unique mix of microbiota works to fight germs, harvest energy, and even "influence your thoughts and feelings." Children are advised to eat healthy foods rather than feed the weeds (the bad microbes). Watercolor illustrations depicting the helpful inhabitants of the "garden in your belly" show them floating like lotus flowers, leaping like frogs, paddling boats, and talking on telephones. The weeds are rendered in dark colors with jagged teeth. In some scenes, they belch out smoke that chokes the helpers. Back matter balances the whimsical illustrations by offering more detailed explanations of the concepts. There is also a glossary of terms and a page of "amazing gut facts." This would be an excellent book to share with a class studying health and nutrition. It could also be suitable for a child who is experiencing gastrointestinal issues and wants to understand what is happening in their own "garden." VERDICT A good addition to collections looking to update their biology section.-Suzanne Costner, Fairview Elem. Sch., Maryville, TNα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

"This playful picture book asks children to imagine their intestines as a river, nourishing 'a garden in your belly full of life and wonder called the microbiome.' The text touches on aspects of the microbiome's microorganisms, commenting on matters such as how they came to live there, how helpful or harmful they are, and how beneficial a varied 'garden' can be. Kids initially squeamish about microbes in the gut may find themselves unexpectedly fascinated by the topic. While some indication of sources would be useful to bolster the authority of the text, it is competently written and reads aloud well. The book's real strength, though, lies in the vividly colored, wildly imaginative, and joyful artwork, created with digitally enhanced watercolors. Some of these organisms are pictured as flowering plants while others resemble kids' paintings of friendly little aliens. The illustrations will help children envision their own gardens of microbes in a new way and possibly even view them as worth nurturing with more water and better food. A lively introduction to a vital element in human health."—BooklistJournal Published On: 2020-10-01

"The bacteria inside the human gut may not be the first thing that comes to mind as a topic for a children's book, but D'yans has made the subject very approachable. The metaphors of a river and a garden are used to describe the intestines and stomach, allowing readers to visualize the microorganisms involved. The text explains how each person's unique mix of microbiota works to fight germs, harvest energy, and even 'influence your thoughts and feelings.' Children are advised to eat healthy foods rather than feed the weeds (the bad microbes). Watercolor illustrations depicting the helpful inhabitants of the 'garden in your belly' show them floating like lotus flowers, leaping like frogs, paddling boats, and talking on telephones. The weeds are rendered in dark colors with jagged teeth. In some scenes, they belch out smoke that chokes the helpers. Back matter balances the whimsical illustrations by offering more detailed explanations of the concepts. There is also a glossary of terms and a page of 'amazing gut facts.' This would be an excellent book to share with a class studying health and nutrition. It could also be suitable for a child who is experiencing gastrointestinal issues and wants to understand what is happening in their own 'garden.' VERDICT A good addition to collections looking to update their biology section."—School Library JournalJournal Published On: 2020-09-01

"An attractive primer about the human microbiome.

The nature metaphor begins with the 'river' flowing—one's intestine. This river has tight 'folds and turns,' but if it were stretched out 'it would be ten times as tall as you are!' It feeds and supports the 'garden in your belly.' Tiny, gleeful, googly-eyed microorganisms fill the page. But as one particularly astute microbe asks, 'Where does your garden come from?' D'yans explains how humans collect new microbes with everything they touch or eat. The blobby, kaleidoscopic creatures with wide, inviting eyes appear sweet and safe. Then they settle in to become a garden, blooming and growing (and yes, even sleeping). D'yans stresses the importance of having a variety in one's garden—the microbes all have different shapes and hues, swaying amid the intestinal river. The actual job of a microbe is tricky to explain: 'Your garden microorganisms put out fires and take the garbage out. Sometimes they have adventures and strange encounters. / They can even influence your thoughts and feelings.' D'yans encourages healthy habits: exercise, fresh air, water, and healthy foods to keep one's garden strong. If bad microbes take over, the river becomes polluted—sickly greens and purples bubble up in the illustrations, and the microbes turn darker with large teeth and pointed features. Further exploration into the microbiome is appended. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.875-by-21.25-inch double-page spreads viewed at 22.5% of actual size.)

A gentle look deep inside."Kirkus ReviewsJournal Published On: 2020-08-01

"A Garden in Your Belly's colorful world helped me wake up this morning. This book is as powerful as it is beautiful and that's the minimum!" —Eric Carle
Other Print Published On: 2020-05-04

Product details

  • Publisher : Millbrook Press ™; Illustrated edition (October 6, 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Hardcover : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1541578406
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1541578401
  • Reading age : 7 - 11 years
  • Grade level : 2 - 5
  • Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
  • Dimensions : 11.5 x 0.5 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 12 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
12 global ratings
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