Do Not Lick This Book – Children’s Book Week Review

Cover Image for Do Not Lick This Book
Do Not Lick This Book* by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost

*It’s full of germs

This book was Shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.

Min is a microbe. She is small. Very small. In fact so small that you’d need to look through a microscope to see her. Or you can simply open this book and take Min on an adventure to amazing places she’s never seen before – like the icy glaciers of your tooth or the twisted, tangled jungle that is your shirt.

Firstly, let’s start this review with a short tip – it’s probably best not to lick any books not just this specific book and definitely no library books.

This book is about Min – a microbe. Microbes are everywhere – they are microorganisms that live in and on the world around us as well as living in us.

The book uses a mixture of cartoon like illustration and incredibly close-up images (there is an explanation of the level of magnification on these pictures) of things like paper and teeth to explain to children where microbes live. At the back there is also a glossary showing the four types of microbes covered in the book. The book shows us how microbes move from place to place – in this instance on our finger going from book to teeth to clothes and back to book.

I really enjoy sharing non-fiction books with children. It is a way of explaining the world to them but also saves adults from feeling like they have to know everything about a topic – the book will hopefully answer the question and if not we have lots of other books in the library.

We live in a world that is obsessed with germs and even though I would encourage people not to lick books it’s important to discuss the necessity of ‘germs’ in our lives. Yes, some E. coli microbes can make us very sick but others are necessary to intestinal function and our health. This book is a good place to start taking about germs but also talking about the importance of washing our clothes, brushing our teeth, washing our hands, and gives the reader a chance to gain some facts about microbes.

I don’t normally include a rhyme in these blog posts but as I started singing this while reading the book I feel it’s a great tie in.

This is the way we wash our hands,
(Mime washing your hands)
Wash our hands, wash our hands.
This is the way we wash our hands
So early in the morning.

This is the way we wash our face,
Wash our face, wash our face.
This is the way we wash our face
So early in the morning.

This is the way we brush our teeth,
Brush our teeth, brush our teeth.
This is the way we brush our teeth
So early in the morning.

And you can go on, covering all sorts of hygiene related actions.

Would you like to know more about microbes and what they do in our bodies that makes them so necessary? View the video below for more information.