Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes

Lesa Cline-Ransome; illustrations by James Ransome

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)


Come meet the good, the bad, and the ugly—yes, germs!
There’s so much to discover about germs. Did you know that germs make your stomach growl as they break down your food? Or that they can travel the world on anything from fleas and ticks to trains and buses?
Told from the perspective of Sam the Salmonella, this informative picture book introduces young readers to helpful and harmful germs, exploring their discovery; the breakout of historic diseases; the invention of pasteurization, vaccination, and penicillin; and other fascinating details about the world of microscopic organisms.

A Christy Ottaviano Book

Evanston IL Public Library Best Books of the Year

Praise for Germs

An Evanston Public Library Best Book of the Year

"A light and lively education in the world of microorganisms."-Publishers Weekly

"Text, occasionally swirling across the pages, complements the playful illustrations to provide information in clear, child-friendly language. . . Soft, attractive pencil, watercolor, and mixed-media illustrations match well with the text, and their energy enhances the presentation. A useful, rather detailed glossary and a short essay on the value of hand-washing follow, although some listeners may wonder why anyone would want to wash away such cute little critters."-Kirkus Reviews

"James Ransome’s pencil and watercolor artwork is a strong complement to Sam’s narration—capturing the tongue-in-cheek seriousness of a germ with an axe to grind, while fun-loving, multi-hued germs are just regular guys and gals trying to get on with their lives. Yes, you should wash your hands—but have a little remorse." -The Bulletin


Reviews from Goodreads

Lesa Cline-Ransome; illustrations by James Ransome

Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of many picture books, including Young Pele: Soccer’s First Star, Light in the Darkness and Whale Trails: Before and Now which was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, and which Kirkus praised as “an inventive look at maritime history” in a starred review. She lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with her family.
James E. Ransome is the illustrator of many award-winning books for children, including A Joyful Christmas, as well as Uncle Jed’s Barbershop which received a Coretta Scott King Honor. He also illustrated Under the Quilt of Night, and Satchel Paige, written by his wife, Lesa Cline-Ransome. He teaches illustration at Syracuse University and lives with his family in upstate New York.

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Latest on Facebook