Special thanks to Jordan D Brown for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – Micro Mania: A Really Close-Up Look at Bacteria, Bedbugs, and the Zillions of Other Gross Little Creatures That Live In, On, and All Around You!
For more than 18 years, Jordan D. Brown has written numerous high-quality, award-winning books, magazine articles, Web sites, television programs, and educational guides for children, teachers and parents. – From Jordan’s Homepage
#1 – What was the impetus behind Micro Mania?
An editor who had worked with me on ROBO WORLD, a biography of a Robot Designer (Cynthia Breazeal) gave my name to another editor, who was looking for someone to write a book about bacteria, bedbugs, and all the other tiny or invisible creatures that share the world with us. I had written about this topic for the American Museum of Natural History, so I eagerly said “yes” to the editor. The more I delved into the research, the more fascinated I became.
#2 – Why do you think people are fascinated by the tiny?
Many kids are interested in gross-but-true books, so exploring the world of bacteria and so forth was a natural. There are many myths surrounding tiny creatures (such as “all bacteria are harmful to us”) that I felt the urge to debunk them.
#3 – You go beyond just pretty pictures in this book. What kind of journey were you wanting to take your readers on?
One of my big goals was to open readers’ eyes to the invisible world of living creatures that share Earth with us. It’s humbling that we need them more than they need us. I was also eager to inspire readers to think of microbes in a more positive way. Sure there are deadly viruses that don’t think twice about making us sick (or dead) – but there are many other microbes that make our lives more enjoyable. As I point out early in the book, if we didn’t have microbes such as yeast, bacteria etc., then we wouldn’t have bread, yogurt, chocolate and much more.
#4 – Which is your favourite tiny-thing that’s in our bodies? And why?
I have a fondness for dust mites, such as the type that live on our eyelids. Their little legs make them look like traditional animals rather than amoeba-like blobs. Here’s a picture of one. I also loved learning about tardigrades a.k.a. “waterbears” – that have survived travels in space. While working on Micro Mania, I developed an “affection” for gross little curious, and felt defensive when people maligned them. I was so inspired I wrote a satirical song to the tune of the American national anthem (“The Germ-Spangled Banner” can be seen on YouTube).
#5 – Do you have any upcoming projects/books you can tell us about?
With Micro Mania, I tackled biology in an interesting way; with Crazy Concoctions, I approached chemistry with humour and hands-on activities, and right now I’m working on a book that explores physics in a fun and irreverent way. That book (which doesn’t have a title yet) will be published in 2015.
[Image Credit: http://www.jordandbrown.com/bio.php ]