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Five Books That Explain Germs, Hand Washing & Viruses

Topics of germs and the importance of hand washing are not always easy for children to understand. BooksForTopics founder Alison Leach has picked out five books that help to address these concepts with children.

Germs Are Not For Sharing

Elizabeth Verdick & Marieka Heinlen

A simple but very effective guide for younger children, covering good personal hygiene habits to help prevent the spread of germs. The book covers what to do after you sneeze, cough, blow your nose, drop food on the floor and use the toilet. With cartoon-like illustrations and a repeated refrain of 'germs are not for sharing', this is the essential hygiene book to have in every EYFS and reception class.

I Don't Want to Wash My Hands

Tony Ross

The Little Princess doesn't want to wash her hands - not after playing outside, not after using her potty and not after sneezing! But when she hears about 'germs and nasties' from the family maid, the Little Princess begins to think that there might be something even worse waiting for her if she doesn't head towards soap and water soon...

A useful picture book for discussing the when and why of handwashing, from Tony Ross's popular Little Princess series.

Do Not Lick This Book

Idan Ben-Barak & Julian Frost

A humorous and interactive picture book that explains what microbes are, with images that demonstrate how easy it is for you to pick up and transfer germs when you touch different objects with your fingers. Touch the book to 'pick up' Min the Microbe (actually an E-Coli) and imagine transferring her to your teeth, clothes and belly button, while picking up a host of other tiny microbe friends along the way. Readers see each new location for the germs in fascinating zoomed-in photos. This giggle-worthy book caters to all ages and introduces the science of microbes to children in an engaging way - a good choice for school assembly if you have a visualizer to hand. Just don't let readers really lick it, however tempted they might be!

What Are Germs?

Katie Daynes & Marta Alvarez Miguens

A hardback non-fiction book from Usborne's interactive lift-the-flap series, exploring the topic of germs through bite-sized question-and-answer chunks. Written with advice from Public Health England, it's an attractive book that is useful for addressing queries, 'just-wonderings' and misconceptions about germs. By learning what germs are, where they live and how they behave, young readers can also learn how to prevent germs from spreading between people and the book includes top tips about staying healthy and hygienic. 

The Bacteria Book

Steve Mould

A favourite non-fiction pick from our 50 Recommended Reads for Year 5 booklist, this a suitable book for helping children aged 7-11 to learn about the science of bacteria, viruses and microbes. The book is packed with information, diagrams and photographs covering different areas of microbiology in a child-friendly way, including how germs behave, why microbes are important, how viral infections spread and how our bodies fight viruses. 

IMPORTANT: Updated, official advice on hand hygiene and other matters in relation to  Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the NHS website.

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Five Books That Explain Germs, Hand Washing & Viruses Topics of germs and the importance of hand washing are not always easy for children to understand. BooksForTopics founder Alison Leach has picked out five books that help to address these concepts with children. ​ Germs Are Not For Sharing Elizabeth Verdick & Marieka Heinlen A simple but very effective guide for younger children covering good personal hygiene habits to help prevent the spread of germs. The book covers what to do after you sneeze, cough, blow your nose, drop food on the floor and use the toilet. With cartoon-like illustrations and a repeated refrain of 'germs are not for sharing', this is the essential hygiene book to have in every EYFS and reception class. Buy Online I Don't Want to Wash My Hands Tony Ross The Little Princess doesn't want to wash her hands - not after playing outside, not after using her potty and not after sneezing! But when she hears about the 'germs and nasties' from the maid, the Little Princess begins to think there might be something even worse waiting for her if she doesn't head for the sink soon...A useful picture book for discussing the when and why of handwashing, fromTony Ross's popular Little Princess series. Buy Online Do Not Lick This Book Idan Ben-Barak & Julian Frost A humorous and interactive picture book that explains what microbes are and makes the point about how easy it is for you to pick up and transfer germs when you touch different objects with your fingers. Touch the book to pick up Min the Microbe (actually an E-Coli) and transfer her to your teeth, clothes and belly button, meeting other microbes - pickup up a host of other tiny friends along the way. We see each new home for the germs in fascinating zoomed-in photos. This giggle-worthy book caters to all ages and introduces the science of microbes to children in an engaging way - definitely one for assembly if you have a visualizer to hand. Just don't let readers really lick it, however tempted they might be! Buy Online What Are Germs? Katie Daynes & Marta Alvarez Miguens This hardback non-fiction with interactive flaps covers the topic of germs in question-and-answer sized chunks. Written with advice from Public Health England, it's a simple and attractive book that is suited to EYFS and KS1. By learning what germs are, where they live, and how they behave, young readers can also learn how to prevent them spreading from person to person, and the book includes top tips about staying healthy and hygienic. Buy Online The Bacteria Book Steve Mould A favourite non-fiction pick from our 50 Recommended Reads for Year 5 booklist, this a suitable book for helping children in the 7-11 age bracket to learn about the science of bacteria, viruses and microbes. The book is packed with information, diagrams and photographs covering different areas of microbiology in a child-friendly way,  including how germs behave, why microbes are important, how viral infections spread and how our bodies fight viruses.

Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, BooksForTopics earns from qualifying purchases.  Click here to learn more. 

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