GERM CONCERN by Matthew  Mikos


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This children’s picture book explains the dangers of germs and how to prevent infection.

The opening of this work employs odd phrasing and emphatic exclamation marks: “Germ Concern!”; “Germ instruction awareness production! / Learn and be concerned about germs!” After this somewhat clumsy beginning, the book settles into rhyming verse with varying stanza lengths and rhyme schemes. The book warns kids that illness can spread by touch or through the air. Good hygiene includes washing one’s hands after using the bathroom, not sharing bites of food, and turning one’s head away from others during naptime to avoid others’ exhalations, the third-person narrator says. To prevent sickness, one should have a healthy diet, get rest, and use medicine and disinfectant spray. A glossary defines potentially unfamiliar words. In his debut, author/illustrator Mikos offers good basic information. However, it’s somewhat incomplete; for example, the glossary says that germs are “tiny,” but not that one needs special equipment to see them. Also left out is the role of vaccines in disease prevention. That said, kids are likely to respond well to the book’s humor, rhyme, and intriguing illustrations. The latter depict light-skinned children realistically in pen and ink, while germs are conceived fantastically as watercolor creatures with googly eyes.

A kid-friendly approach to good hygiene that could have been more informative.

ISBN: 978-1-5255-4534-4
Publisher: FriesenPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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