Did you know that one gram of soil may harbor up to 10 billion microorganisms of possibly thousands of different species? It’s a scary thought especially considering that many of them look like monsters under the microscope. Using high magnification images, Sabrina Crewe’s book, Micromonsters in the Garden, takes a look at 13 such organisms: pin nematode, tardigrade, hydra, parasitoid wasp, gall mite, amoeba, honeybee mite, cyclops, powdery mildew, rotifer, trichome of a flannel bush leaf, didinium, and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. In addition to the amazing photographs, Crewe gives information about the micromonsters including common and Latin names, size, habitat, lifespan, and benefits or harm to man and other organisms. Background information describes the micromonster and its typical existence. End materials include a glossary, additional resources, and a visual guide to comprehending micrometers and nanometers.

Written for children ages 8-11, the author uses lots of colorful language to capture the imagination of young readers, like bee blood suckers and the sections “Gross or What?”and “Monstrous Data”. There is no story and the information is presented in colorful insets distributed artfully on a two page spread for each microorganism. Micromonsters in the Garden brings awareness of soil microorganisms to young readers and helps explain their importance in the web of life.

To buy Micromonsters in the Garden from Amazon, click here.