book review

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes

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The tiniest creatures accomplish some of the biggest jobs on the planet.

This beautifully illustrated and cleverly written guide invites us into the microscopic world of microbes.

Zoologist and author Nicola Davies welcomes us into the microscopic world in her book Tiny Creatures The world of Microbes. 

Tiny Creatures

Taking us on a journey through a microbe’s minute size, to their multiplying sills turning one microbe into millions, to their diverse shape forms, and the variety roles they play in the world, Tiny Creatures in an invitation to go exploring.

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Using wonderful and clear analogies such as an antenna on an ant would need to be as big as a whale to see all the micro-organisms on its antenna. This book is beautifully illustrated by Emily Sutton and brings to life all of the amazing and cool facts about microbes. It supports the text wonderfully.

Davies focuses on the positive things that microbes do such as composting soil, making yogurt and helping to make our air good and clean to breathe.

Tiny Creatures 1

We really like the part about germs which make us sick, how they multiply and how to prevent illness from happening in the first place.

I really loved this book because it leaves its readers in a state of wonder and has us wanting to know more about the invisible world of microbes.

Something To Do

How to Compost

compost

In her book Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes author Nicola Davies shares with us that one of the ways microbes do their finest work is breaking down dead material into soil. Composting is one of the easiest ways to see this work up close. You, along with those microbes are going to create rich soil called humus to put into your garden.

  • Composting creates soil for plants filled with nutrients they need to flourish
  • Compost is made from items you usually throw away in your home.
  • Composting is Earth friendly as it reduces the garbage we send to the landfill.

Here’s how it works:

When organic scraps ( think green and brown) are put into a compost bin, the combination of nitrogen and carbon invite tiny microbes, insects, and worms to break down the organic matter into soil. This is called decomposition. The rich nutrient filled soil is called humus.

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What Can You Put into a Compost Bin

1. Greens (Nitrogen) All vegetable and fruit produce, grass clippings, coffee grounds, and weeds that haven’t gone to seed.

2. Browns (Carbon) Dried leaves, paper towel/toilet paper rolls, newspaper, cardboard, paper egg cartons, and saw dust.

Other: I also throw in egg shells into my compost. It’s not a green or a brown but it breaks down wonderfully.

Keep a 50/50 balance of brown and greens in your compost bin.

3. Water  Compost needs water so that the microbes, insects, and worms can do their thing.

4. Air: Compost piles need air. If your compost bin is made our of chicken wire, no problem. If you have a closed container, you’ll need to stir it every few weeks with a compost stir pick.

How to make an easy Compost Bin

Once your compost bin has been built and you’ve started adding scraps and water to it, see how soon it is before you start seeing potato bugs, little flies, worms etc. Mark on a calendar daily what you see and how long it takes for the compost scraps to break down into humus.

composting---wire-compost-bin-a

Has your family tried composting and putting your own Tiny Microbes to work?

Would you like to discover more fun and nature-filled activities for your family?

How about some month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden? A Year in the Secret Garden is over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room. Learn more, or grab your copy HERE.

A Year in the Secret garden