It’s a Fungus Among Us is a kids non-fiction book aiming to educate children about the various fungi in the world. Written by Carla Billups & Dawn Cusick. It includes lots of gorgeous pictures and various font sizes to break the information up into bite-sized bits. It also has a few experiments that children can do if they want to learn more about fungi.
Right away, there was a fungi fact that made me goggle.
“More than eight kinds of fungi live just in the fur of three-toed sloths.”
And that set the tone for this book. The pictures were amazing, and the information that the authors relayed was fantastic. Stuff that makes the reader appreciate exactly how unique and well-developed fungi are. The comparison between animals and fungi on how they find and digest food was extremely interesting.
The section on lichens in particular was very enlightening. I didn’t really know much about them, so to learn how long they can survive without sustenance was amazing.
Another cool fungi fact in It’s a Fungus Among Us:
“(During rain) Fungi release a protein that works like glue, holding small pieces of soil together and keeping htem from washing away. This fungal glue also helps soil hold more water.”
But this book isn’t just about the good. It also talks about the not so great elements of fungi, such as fungal diseases and such. Also, the downright scary is covered as well. The downright scary section will leave you feeling a little bit grossed out, to say the least!
I do have to admit that some of the pictures in It’s a Fungus Among Us made my scalp prickle. I love a tasty mushroom, and even though this book gave me a great respect for the sheer diversity of fungi out there, it may be a while before I can order mushrooms on my pizza again.
It’s a Fungus Among Us is a nicely put together book that is laid out perfectly. It’s written so that children or adults can learn something and enjoy themselves at the same time. It does contain a lot of information, though, so this is not necessarily a ‘read in one sitting’ type of book. It’s the kind that is best left out for your child (or you) to browse through as time and attention span permits.
There is so much interesting information in this book, and so much that I wanted to know more about! I actually ended up feeling a little unsatisfied because of how desperately I wanted more information about some things. For example, It’s a Fungus Among Us stated that “Since fungi may be able to live on Mars, humans need to be very careful not to bring Earth fungi there because it could damage the planet.” I thought that Mars was already considered a ‘dead’ planet. So what would it matter if we brought Earth fungus over??
Overall, It’s a Fungus Among Us is educational, entertaining, and well thought out. I enjoyed reading it, and definitely recommend it for any budding little scientists (or just people that love to learn) out there.
- Title: It’s a Fungus Among Us
- Authors: Carla Billups, Dawn Cusick
- ISBN13: 9781633221543
- Pages: 83
- Genre: Kids Non-fiction
- Rating: 4 out of 5
- Source: I received a copy from Edelweiss
- Buy Link: Amazon