Exploring our Gut Gardens

We talk a lot about eating healthy and how our gut is the center of our body’s universe, but that can be an incredibly confusing concept for a child, let alone an adult. What is a gut? How does it work? What are microbes and why are they important? And what can we do to stay healthy? These are all questions that Katie Brosnan tries to answer in Gut Garden: A Journey into the Wonderful World of Your Microbiome.

This is a fabulous book for any budding scientist or anyone studying the body’s digestive system. I had my 13 year old biologist look at this as well and she thought it looked pretty amazing. Utilizing wonderful illustrations to bring microbes to life, Kate Brosnan introduces young readers to what goes on in our stomachs and why. The book does start off a little too scientifically and might overwhelm some, but then you enter the portion explaining what happens when we eat and it explodes! The cartoonish aspect of microbes hard at work in your mouth is an awesome and fun visual, and will definitely reinforce the need to brush your teeth.

From mouth to large intestine, we learn what goes on inside of our bodies when we eat. There are microbes all around, inside and outside of our bodies. Microbes have a wide variety of purposes and are of great importance in our digestive system. Brosnan tells kids that not only do we have a more microbes than cells, apparently 99% of them live in our large intestine, or gut. Our gut and the microbes in it impact allergies, our immune systems, and how we feel in general, both physically and mentally.

Katie Brosnan does a great job at making a very complex system a bit easier to understand and also makes it fun. She helps readers see that understanding the gut’s microbiome and its impact on the human body is a field that is currently exploding so new things are being discovered every day. This is a unique book for anyone interested in science and a great book to have for a school or classroom library.

Leave a Reply