Up Your Nose
“Every science classroom would benefit from having a copy of Up Your Nose. It seems especially timely during a pandemic and extensive COVID testing, which is done, you guessed it . . . up your nose.”
Seth Fishman breaks down what microbes are, where they are, and how the immune system deals with them in his latest book, Up Your Nose. He talks about the body’s bodyguards: medicine, vaccines, and you (washing hands, eating right, getting exercise and sleep).
“Do your parents ever tell you to do things that you just don’t understand? Sneeze into your elbow. Cover your mouth when you cough. Don’t eat off the floor. Don’t eat your boogers. Take a bath. Stop kissing the dog!”
Some germs are good for us. Bacteria in our intestines help us digest food. “If you weigh fifty pounds, you could have up to one and a half pounds of bacteria inside you right now!”
Germs are part of us. “Your nose is their living room, your belly is their swimming pool, your teeth are their playgrounds, and your sneezes are their rocket ships.”
The author tells you how to wash your hands and for how long. “You need to swirl soap all over for at least twenty seconds. That’s how long it takes to say “pretty protozoa” twenty times.”
The author’s note at the end further discusses four of the big five types of microbes over two pages.
The language is fun and sometimes funny. “If you don’t clean a sponge, you’ve just got a big wet germ mattress. Flushing the toilet shoots germs six feet into the air in an invisible geyser of disgusting fun.”
Aside from one sentence that doesn’t make any sense and has no explanation, the book follows a logical sequence. “Even if you get some nasty bacteria, there are viruses that can help you fight them off.” Say what? Explanation please.
Isabel Greenberg’s art is as fun as drawing microbes can be. It’s colorful with bright end papers festooned with pink, orange, green, blue, and yellow microbes in various shapes. The double-page spreads alternate between white backgrounds and colors. The type switches from black to white, depending on the backgrounds. Humans are diverse and multi-colored, along with a gray dog. The three main characters in the art are a Caucasian girl, a Hispanic boy in a bear costume, and a Black boy.
Although the book is recommended for four-to-eight year olds, much of it seems beyond a four year old’s capability to understand such abstract concepts. Surely a nine, ten, or eleven-year old would enjoy the humor and lively way the facts about microbes is presented.
Every science classroom would benefit from having a copy of Up Your Nose. It seems especially timely during a pandemic and extensive COVID testing, which is done, you guessed it . . . up your nose.