4 out of 4 stars
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Mighty Virus, by Mary Spidell, is an illustrated children’s book that aims to inform a young audience about how viruses infect people and what people can do to protect themselves from viruses. In the story, a virus and its posse go to a town where they attempt to infect as many people as possible. However, to combat the virus and its posse, most of the inhabitants of the town heed advice from their doctors.
Overall, Mighty Virus is a timely and impressive book. First, the book is informative. The narrative uses a basic story to explain scientific information about viruses and how they travel to humans. After the conclusion of the story, the book includes specific information about viruses and vacccines. Additionally, Mighty Virus can be used as a tool for caregivers to help explain the changes that went on in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the book is not solely for explaining events of the past; Mighty Virus provides essential information that will help children understand the importance of avoiding viruses going forward.
Moreover, the illustrations aid the narrative by adequately depicting complex topics in a simplistic form that can be digested by young readers. The illustrator of Mighty Virus, Kiska Corrigan-Hoaglin, uses simplistic art to enhance the information provided by the author. Even if young children do not understand all of the concepts described in the story, like social distancing, the illustrations will help children visualize the meaning behind such concepts.
In addition to the engaging and informative narrative, the language is appropriate for the target audience. The narrative avoids confusing jargon and over-explanation, focusing on conveying the most basic and essential information. The book is also bilingual: the text appears in both English and Spanish, making this book accessible to a wide audience. In general, the narrative appears well edited. However, I noted a few basic grammatical errors.
Mighty Virus is best suited for children ages three to ten. The illustrations will hold the attention of young readers, even if they don’t fully grasp the meaning of the story, and older readers are sure to learn useful information about combating viruses and staying healthy. The book is cohesive, the story is timely, and the information is presented at an appropriate level. Thus, I rate Mighty Virus 4 out of 4 stars. In general, I recommend this book be read to young children to help them understand the reasons why we get sick and how to prevent getting a virus. More specifically, young children interested in science will gain important insight from this book.
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