Review: Gut Garden

Book Title: Gut Garden (available here)

Author/Illustrator: Katie Brosnan

Publisher: Cicada

Publication Date: October 2019

Most Suitable For: Upper KS2

Reviewed By: Louise Buisson, Primary English Leader

Prior to opening this book, I have to admit that I knew very little about microbes. After having read it, I feel super-informed and interested! (Did you know that there are over five hundred species of microbes in your mouth?!)

This beautiful, quirky, illustrated book begins by explaining what microbes are; giving examples to which most children will be able to relate, such as bacteria and viruses. It then builds on this with new vocabulary and concepts. Throughout the book, the author does not shy away from using scientific vocabulary but explains it in a way that is accessible and interesting to children. A lot of the text is presented as speech bubbles or information ‘blobs’ integrated into the illustrations which keep the reader’s attention and interest.

As the book progresses, the reader is taken on a journey through the human digestive system introducing the roles microbes play in our bodily processes and explaining how they can both keep us healthy and cause us to fall ill. There is a good dose of poo-related information that will capture the attention of even the most reluctant Upper Key Stage Two reader!

There are opportunities in the book for the reader to learn about how the food we choose to eat affects the microbes in our bodies. In addition, we are also prompted to think about issues such as the overuse of antibiotics and how microbe research might well help to solve common health problems in years to come.

This book would be great for building on LKS2 science knowledge or simply enjoyed because it’s a very interesting and fun read!


You can order Gut Garden online or from your local bookshop or library.

Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Louise for reviewing it.

Where next? > Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub

> Browse our Topic Booklists

> View our printable year group booklists.

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