As I put together this list of children’s books about germs, we are getting halfway through the second week of lockdown here in Italy.
Terms like virus, contagion, microbes, germs, hygiene, have become everyday vocabulary.
Children have been at home for almost a month now; what may have seemed like an extended holiday, is now turning into something quite frightful and sometimes hard to grasp. How can we explain to them what is going on? How can we share necessary information about hygiene and health in an informative, yet reassuring manner?
Here is a list of some on the best-rated children’s books about germs, hygiene, viruses, and bacterias ranging from funny gross-out reads to more serious and instructive titles.
Be kind, be patient, stay safe and stay home
Things will be all right
If you are looking for things to do with your child at home, I invite you to take a look around this blog for activities and lesson ideas.
Do not Lick! Children’s Books About Germs and Hygiene
by Steve Mould (Author)
Steve Mould (no pun intended) is a science expert turned comedian with a physics degree from Oxford. Here he introduces kids to the icky and enthralling world of microbes in a book filled with facts on viruses, bacterias, fungi, protozoa, and all those other tiny “beings” we happen to share the planet with.
He also explains how humans and microbes interact, how diseases are spread and fought with medicine and good hygiene.
If there is a line between gross and cool, Steve Mould has found it and knows how to walk it.
by Baby Professor (Author)
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a virus and a bacteria? Virus vs. Bacteria is here to do just that. With clear writing and colorful illustrations, the book teaches kids about microbes, how they spread, how they affect our bodies, and how we can cure them.
by John Farndon (Author), Venitia Dean
Age Range: 9-12
GR Level: Z
Being sick is horrible. But it used to be worse.
The history of diseases is as long as that of humans. Some were more resilient than others, turning into recurring epidemics that harmed and scarred the population worldwide.
This book introduces the topic of epidemic diseases to kids, recounting the gory stories of the worst pandemics in history from the black plague to tuberculosis, to malaria.
Rather than a lengthy narrative, the book is structured into little bits of information with memorable, catchy titles and captivating illustrations.
by April Chloe Terrazas (Author)
Compared to the other books on this list, Premed Kids is definitely more on the serious style. In fact, is an intro to topics covered on the MCAT.
Not sharing the silly storytelling of other books, it could be the perfect gift for those kids who enjoy more serious readings, or dream of becoming doctors one day.
by Claire Eamer (Author), Marie-Eve Tremblay (Illustrator)
Age Range: 8-11
GR Level: X
“None of us are really alone, not with the trillions and trillions of microbes that call our bodies home” is the premise of Claire Eamer’s illustrated book. So we meet the tiny microbes that live on our skin, our clothes, and even inside us: the bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, protists, and the mites. With this book, kids will learn how humans have evolved to live with those microbes and how to distinguish between the useful, the harmless, and the dangerous ones.
by Idan Ben-Barak (Author), Julian Frost (Illustrator)
In this interactive children’s picture book, microbiologist Idan Ben-Barak and award-winning illustrator Julian Frost zoom in on the microscopic world found on everyday objects―and in our bodies―warning readers Do Not Lick This Book.
by Kate Melton (Author)
Cutie Sue and her little brother get a tummy ache and is not fun. Fortunately, Cutie Sue and her brother are little wise kids that listen to their doctor and learn all the best ways to avoid getting sick again in the future.
by Elizabeth Verdick (Author), Marieka Heinlen (Illustrator)
Age range: 5-7
GR Level: H
A cold is a nasty gift to give someone. But how can we avoid spreading our germs when they are too small to be seen? How can we know where they are?
This book is wonderful in explaining to younger children why hygiene measures and sanitary behaviors are essential to keep us healthy and safe.
What should we do when we cough? How do we blow our nose? How do we properly wash our hands?
Those are just some of the questions that will be answered in this wonderful little book; remember, germs are NOT for sharing!
by Thom Rooke M.D. (Author), Anthony Philip Trimmer (Illustrator)
How did it happen? How did we get sick? How will we get better?
Follow the germ’s journey and discover how microbes travel, multiply, get inside us, and make us sick. “A Germ’s Journey” will also show kids how our immune systems respond to microbes and how they fight the nasty intruders.
by Katie Daynes (Author)
What are germs? How do they spread? And how do medicines help?
This interactive book is wonderfully designed to teach pre-school children about germs, microbes, and hygiene habits we should all follow to protect ourselves and stay healthy.
by Dr. John Hutton (Author), Maria Montag (Illustrator)
Written by a pediatrician, this entertaining book recounts the process of getting sick and healing through catchy rhymes. Sherm the Germ will show readers what it means to get sick and what our bodies do to get us well and healthy again.
by Dan Krall (Author, Illustrator)
Age Range: 4-8
There is something about gross stories that kids simply find irresistible. This book is exactly that: a gross-out story of Simon’s snotty nose that will keep the kids entertained and engaged throughout the story.
Dan Krall tells the story of a kid, Simon, who only cares about playing and socializing. Things will take a turn for the worst, however, as he infects all his friends and family with a terrible cold.
“Sick Simon” is a great choice to teach kids the importance of social distancing and how little sacrifices are to be made if we want to keep our loved ones safe.
by Rebecca Bielawski (Author, Illustrator)
What do you know about the invisible world of microbes? Test your knowledge with this lovely little book and embark on a journey through the microscope’s lenses.