Micronovo Publishing

An interest in microbiology since my undergraduate degree in environmental science has completely changed the way I regard the world and my interactions with it. For me it has been a positive thing. To affect positive change I set about generating books for children when my son learnt to read in the blink of an eye back in 2013 . I'd never paid adequate attention to a creature with such an appetite for information. He was ripe! So I wrote short stories personifying some of the bacteria I use routinely in tertiary education to illustrate aspects of life at the micrometer scale. I love children's books and I love reading to my kids. Having said that, I have no idea how professional children's book authors go about their craft to make their books amazing. The microbial world is pretty amazing in itself so the subject matter does most of the heavy lifting in making these books cool. Much of the rest is carried by the illustrators. I can't draw for peanuts so I've been blown away with the abilities of the people I have worked with to date. There are seven titles available. If you're interested, shoot me an email (mike@micronovo.com.au) and I'll post you some cool books. They retail for AUD$9.95 but if you want more than five the price is negotiable.

Pseu's great escape is all about a planktonic bacterium (based on Pseudomonas fluorescens) being threatened by a brutish protozoan and seeking refuge in amongst other bacteria attached to plants. Bacteria love living on surfaces (so called biofilms) principally because if they don't they are at risk of being eaten by the Great Whites and T-Rex's (in scale) of the microbial world. Bacteria also love living together. So much of what they do is mediate interactions with other microbes. These are some of the themes brought to life by Sydney based illustrator Shira Bentley.


Aero tracks the source introduces concepts of bacterial chemotaxis and motility using Aeromonas hydrophila as a model. Bacteria are able to move around by spinning their flagella and they can swim towards or away from different chemicals depending on whether they are a good source of energy and nutrients or whether they are toxic. This is one of the original books with limited edition artwork by Yee Mon Oo.

Escher surfs the sewer stars the well known bacterium Escherichia coli. Escher lives in the intestines of a young boy but starts out on a big adventure after the boy goes to the toilet. This book relates the idea that we have many creatures living in and on us (in ourselves we are a community!) and hints at the importance of wastewater treatment to human civilisation. Some argue we owe the decreases in infectious disease in the 20th century to the discovery of antibiotics. I think we owe it to the invention of wastewater treatment plants.
Awesome second edition artwork by Purple Wong.

Geo zaps his family features a bacterium named Geobacter metallireducens which is known for its amazing ability to respire solid iron. In addition to bringing the weird and wonderful world of bacterial respiration to life this book introduces the subsurface environment (below ground) where most of life on Earth lives. The subsurface is thought to be a lot like Earth was before the planet was oxygenated by cyanobacteria long before plants evolved. Limited edition artwork by Yee Mon Oo.