The skinny on the really tiny.
“Did you know there are more bacteria in your mouth than there are people in the world?” In an overview of “peculiar, pulsating creatures” that are too small to be seen with the naked eye, the appropriately named Mould keeps his eye on the ick factor as he dishes out basic facts about the viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, archaea, and “micro animals” with which we share the planet. He also describes how diseases are caught and spread, explains how our immune system works, and, backed by a closing timeline, covers the development of microbiology and antibiotics. All of this is parceled out in easily digestible portions and incorporated into a high-intensity visual mix of microphotos in cranked-up false color, a diverse array of human figures, and graphic images of melodramatically slavering, grimacing microbes. A debunked claim that babies are born free of germs is the only major slip in this introduction to millions of our closest neighbors, from cold viruses and beneficial (if fart-producing) gut bacteria to zombie ants and demodex mites that “walk around on our eyelids at night.”
Memorable insights into the invisible world. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-10)