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Germ Zappers

(Enjoy Your Cells Series 2)

Subject Area(s):  Children's BooksGeneral Interest Titles

By Fran Balkwill; Mic Rolph

© 2002 • 32 fully illustrated 4-color pages
Paperback •
ISBN  978-087969598-9

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  •     Description    
  •     Reviews    


Enjoy Your Cells is a new series of children's books from the acclaimed creative partnership of scientist/author Fran Balkwill and illustrator Mic Rolph. Once again, they use their unique brand of simple but scientifically accurate commentary and exuberantly colorful graphics to take young readers on an entertaining exploration of the amazing, hidden world of cells, proteins, and DNA.

It's over ten years since Fran and Mic invented a new way of getting science across to children. Think what extraordinary advances have been made in biology in that time—and how often those discoveries made headlines. Stem cells, cloning, embryo transfer, emerging infections, vaccine development…here in these books are the basic facts behind the public debates. With these books, children will learn to enjoy their cells and current affairs at the same time. And they're getting information that has been written and reviewed by working scientists, so it's completely correct and up-to-date. Readers aged 7 and up will appreciate the stories' lively language and with help, even younger children will enjoy and learn from the jokes and illustrations—no expert required!

This series is a must for all elementary school students and those who care about educating them to be well-informed in a world of increasingly complex health-related and environmental issues.

Fran Balkwill is Professor of Cancer Biology at St. Bartholomew's Hospital and the London Queen Mary School of Medicine. Mic Rolph is a graphic designer with much television and publishing experience. Together, they have created many books for children, and have won several awards, including the prestigious COPUS Junior Science Book Prize.

Enjoy Your Cells
Germ Zappers
Have a Nice DNA!
Gene Machines

Planet Earth can be a dangerous place for all living creatures, including you. You can usually escape from erupting volcanoes and floods. You can protect your body from the blazing Sun and freezing snow. But wherever you live and whatever the weather, you cannot escape GERMS!



"Parents wearied by the bizarre exploits of Metal Greymon, Goku or Bubbles (don't ask) might try presenting their embattled child with Germ Zappers. This nifty little book is in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press's Enjoy Your Cells series. It showcases home-grown heroes–the cells of the immune system.

It's presented with brilliant simplicity: the drawings are accurate, the text is a doddle to understand. Nor can you lose with plot lines like these–murder by squashing, macrophages as super rubbish collectors, neutrophils engaged on spy-like "deadly missions". It is full of inspired touches such as "Top of the Pox", a parade of all the usual viral suspects that has warts rubbing shoulders with diarrhoea.

Joshua, six-and-a-half, read it with relish. "A germ," he told me afterwards, "is a small thing that has quite a lot of power, really, and could make you very, very sick. Germs are bacteria or viruses. Cells in our body can kill them. There's a special sort of cell in your belly that makes acid and destroys anything suspicious like a germ. I also thought the natural killer cell was powerful and cool. It's funny-looking–ball-shaped with bumps–and it sneaks up and sticks holes in the membrane of an infected cell."

See? Germ Zappers is every bit as weird as Dragon Ball Z–and there's no merchandise attached to it. Go for it."

      —New Scientist