Disclosure: I received an advanced readers copy (The Secret Life of Viruses) through Raincoast Books.
Helping children understand how viruses work is the first step to enabling them to protect themselves in a virus-ridden world. The Secret Life of Viruses is a picture book geared to helping our younger children understand how viruses work. This helps them know how to protect themselves and reduces the fear that some children have.
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Sourcebooks explore, part of sourcebookkids brings us The Secret Life of Viruses by Mariona Tolosa Sistere. This science-based picturebook is part of the Ellas Educan Collective. A hardcover version will be available in August 2021. The Secret Life series also contains the Secret Life of Boogers and the Secret Life of Boo-boos.
The Ellas Educan Collective is a group of six female scientists. They wish to promote women in leadership positions. Their goal is to create a sustainable world, as they empower women and engage people in science.
The Secret Life of Viruses is written for children 4-8 years and covers 32 pages. Colourful illustrations fill the pages connecting well to the text that is in simple, but informative language. I received an ARC version from Raincoast.
I just love picture books that are a combination of good information and good illustrations. Mariona Tolosa Sistere has given me just that. Not only does she make the science of understanding how viruses work easy for children, but she writes in an engaging tone.
In The Secret life of Viruses readers will learn what a virus is, what types of viruses there are, how they reproduce, what they do inside your body, and how they spread. They will learn what a pandemic is and how to stay healthy. You’ll even get a history of viruses in history. The bright colourful images draw in the eye and the shapes would intrigue children. It’s actually kind of fascinating to see all the different shapes that viruses are don’t you think?
Two pages are devoted to quizz questions with the answers given later.
Should you get The Secret Life of Viruses
Whether you are young or old, The Secret Life of Viruses is an excellent primer into understanding the world of viruses. It would work well just for helping elementary students understand viruses and be a good introduction to older students. I love using picture books with older students as it can spur on questions they have and possible research opportunities.
It’s not perfect, in places it feels a little “teachery”. But the information presented is solid, and sometimes you need the teacher-aspect to make the point more clear. 🙂 I liked that accurate terminology was used when delineating categories, and simple language was used where it could be easily done.