Book Review

“Esie Explores Beneficial Bacteria” by S. Kitanovic

Esie Explores Beneficial Bacteria
S. Kitanovic
diatoMedia, LLC (2019)
ISBN 9781733707503
Reviewed by Lydia Dehning (age 6) for Reader Views Kids (10/19)

“Esie Explores Beneficial Bacteria” by S. Kitanovic is the story of a tiny bacterium named Esie who, after talking with her twin, Es, gets the idea to explore the world around her to figure out if she is part of beneficial or harmful bacteria. The story starts after Esie gets upset with she gets told that she is nasty bacteria. She asks her brother, Es, if they are actually nasty or if they are beneficial, but he doesn’t know and doesn’t seem to care. Esie cares, so she sticks to her leaf with her pili, takes off with the wind, and waves her flagella at Es. Esie lands in some rough water and keeps floating along until the water turns into a trickle and dries up in the desert. Here, she meets the bacteria Coleus and its siblings.

Coleus makes a sticky slime that helps them to not dry out in the desert, and it also helps the plants in the desert to not dry out by trapping water in their slime for the plant. Esie learns that Coleus are beneficial bacteria, and she gets back on her leaf and floats up to the clouds. Up here, she meets ice maker bacteria who take water drops and makes them into ice, which then becomes rain when it falls down to the ground. Esie decides that these are beneficial bacteria and floats back on her leaf down to the ground, and lands on the water. Esie meets Erwinia and Erwin, who are bacteria who eat oil that gets spilled from boats in the ocean. These bacteria are beneficial but not very nice, and she floats with the wind and ends up being eaten by a cow! While in the cow, she meets bacteria that are just like her, and she finds out that their purpose is to make vitamins for the cow and to keep bad bacteria out. Esie is beneficial!

I liked reading this book because I learned a lot and I thought the part of Esie getting eaten by a cow was funny! I didn’t know about bacteria, but now I know that even though bacteria may sound like they are bad, they can do a lot of good too. I liked the pictures because they were colorful and made things look real.

A Note from Mom: I can’t say that I have seen too many, if any, children’s books about bacteria. The way that Kitanovic presents the information about this topic is well done and entertaining to kids – which helps to keep their attention and interest. “Beneficial Bacteria” is like a dual-reader book, but more-so if you have an older reader to understand and be able to pronounce the words in the story, then the adult could read and explain the additional information at the bottom of each page that goes into more scientific explanation of the bacterium and the environment they inhabit. Overall, I’d say that book is very well done and would be a hit for kids of any age.     

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