Mushrooms, lichens, yeasty bread, too. Are your salad and breadsticks—alive?
Beneath its sensationalistic title, this is a truly delightful rhyming book about the wonderful surprises that await us in nature. Author Keller brings alive the woods with a second-person text addressed at a bespectacled, elementary-age child whose walk along a woodland path is soon fraught with unexpected visitors. “You crouch to look. / You're shocked to see / its cap…its stalk…its gills! / A fungus grows / among us now— / so strange it gives you chills.” Soon the kid is noticing all types of fungus, from mushrooms to mold to spores. Illustrator Salcedo provides art that is the perfect blend of humor and information. She uses bold primary colors and adorable expressiveness to highlight not only the human character (a brown-skinned kid with exuberantly bushy hair), but the myriad plants, veggies, and other living things, both microscopic and visible to the naked eye, the kid encounters. In addition to the snappy verse, Keller offers discreet, prose interjections of science—perfect for young readers with a penchant to know a little bit more. The sweet little science asides offer clearly explained insight into microscopic life forms affecting our lives. The book closes with a three-page interview with a mycologist and a bibliography.
Fun, rhythmic, informative, and worthy of many happy read-aloud moments. (Picture book. 5-10)