I am not even a fan of fungi (though occasionally I do like a little on a pizza with “a lot” on it) and think this is one of the best books I have read on the subject of fungi. At first, I was thinking, “wait, fungi? How dull.” And yet I just said I have read other books on the subject. Sure, but none were “guidebooks” (which this book looked like at first) but books where fungi was in the story or the graphic novel series from First Second. They were clever and not “dull just the facts” please. Then again, neither is the book, Fungi Grow by Maria Gianferrari.
It is about the discovery of the who, what, when, where, why and how fungi grow. You learn some are poisonous, some are edible, some can help you in a medicinal manner (and um…maybe are legal….). You can adapt it to your child’s needs and interest level, but it is also great for adults as well who are looking for a fun and not overly “stuffy” introduction to the more natural aspects. Things are just popping off the page even though there is a lot of text by Gianferrari and the illustrations by Diana Sudyka are busy. However, you can work with that. Fungi Grow is just a clever way of bringing to life the organism fungus. It is not a one shot read, but lucky for me I still have my online reader copy, or I can wait for the final version in mid-October 2023.
I would first say this is recommended for the classroom setting. You could have it in your local library, but I do not see it as something people would ask for. This is what we call a “hand-sell.” You might not know you want or need it, but we do. So, I am handing you this review and saying, even if you are not a fan, go for it! Pick up this book as soon as it comes out. Tell your friends, family and teachers. Tell your bus driver, carpool buddies and the person checking you out at the grocery store. Order copies to give as gifts, keep a copy or two for yourself, and have one just laying about.