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Your Body Battles Book Series (Click for an Overview)

Go to Your Body Battles a Skinned Knee Go to Your Body Battles a Cold Go to Your Body Battles a Stomachache Go to Your Body Battles a Broken Bone Go to Your Body Battles a Cavity Go to Your Body Battles an Earache

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Go to Spidermania Go to Bug Shots Go to Sneeze Go to The Good, The Bad, The Slimy Go to Mosquito Bite Go to Hidden Worlds Go to MicroAliens

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Spidermania - Friends on the Web

  • By Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkel
  • Published in July 2015
  • Published by Holiday House, New York, NY
  • ISBN 978-0-8234-28717
  • 48 pages; 10 x 10 inches
  • Cover Price: $17.95

Debunking myths about spiders, this book takes an extremely close look at creatures that have both fascinated and terrified humans. An introduction explains what makes spiders unique. Then ten species are highlighted with incredible electron micrograph photographs and surprising facts. From diving bell spiders that live in bubbles underwater, to spitting spiders that shoot venomous wads of spit at their prey, to black widows and wolf spiders, this unusual book will intrigue readers and help dispel arachnophobia.

To Order:

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Holiday House web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

Spidermania Awards

2015 Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Honor Book (California Reading Association)

Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K–12 (National Science Teachers Association 2015)

Prize for Excellence in Science Books (AAAS / Subaru SB&F Commended List 2016)

Chapter Book Favorites of 2015 (International Literary Association)

Selected Reviews for Spidermania

“In the same fashion with which this creative team explored mosquitoes in Mosquito Bite (2006) and bugs in Bug Shots (2011), they’re at it again, relying on facts to eradicate negative attitudes about spiders. Using a high-power scanning electron microscope to provide image of spiders and their various body parts as well as well-written, lively text that makes them even more fascinating than readers might think, the book highlights 10 different types of spiders, including the diving bell spider, the wolf spider, the crab spider, and the spitting spider. Designed to remind readers that spiders aid humans, the book enables readers to see how those amazingly intricate webs they produce are formed. Even someone who knows a lot about spiders will learn a thing or two from this entrancing book, brimming with stunning photography and a respectful attitude toward spiders. There is even a section on eye patterns and how to identify various spiders, making this title useful for many science classrooms.” --- Barbara Ward, International Literary Association 12/14/15

"Featuring abundant boldly colored visuals and a wealth of information, Siy and Kunkel (Bug Shots, 2011) offer a lively introduction to spiders. The book first covers general characteristics and behaviors, from their physical makeup to how they create silk. Then they go on to discuss 10 spider types, such as black widows, tarantulas, and orb-weavers, as well as the diving bell spiders, which live underwater. Siy’s clearly written text then addresses spiders’ unique aspects, typical life cycles, and whether they’re poisonous to humans. Siy conveys scientific concepts and terminology very well, and her text is nicely complemented by Kunkel’s detailed, vivid photographs and digitally enhanced electron micrographs, all of which are accompanied by descriptive captions. Though some squeamish or bugphobic folks might balk at the large photos (and shudder to learn about common household hiding spaces for spiders), readers will come away with a fairly comprehensive understanding of spiders and spider diversity. The extensive back matter includes the typical elements as well as a guide for recognizing and identifying particular spiders by eye pattern." --- Shelle Rosenfeld, Booklist 10/27/15

"For their latest memorable venture into microscopic worlds, two veteran collaborators bring children face to face with the original "web masters" (Bug Shots, 2011, etc.). "To know a spider you must first look into its eyes." Along with being a proposition as riveting as it is uninviting for most readers, Siy's observation is literally true, as the arrangement of their multiple eyes is often a key to spider identification. Expanding on her taxonomic topic, the author focuses on observable behaviors and physical characteristics throughout a general overview and brief introductions to 10 arachnids. She closes with specific methodology that includes both a chart of eye patterns and a set of systematic questions that will help distinguish true spiders from close relatives. As always, Kunkel's bright, sharp, close-up photographs and even closer-up electron micrographs, all with detailed production notes, are a highlight—the former artfully angled to show body parts and coloration, the latter using false colors to make spinnerets and other tiny physical features easily visible. Though the author's argument that spiders are our friends (in support of which she even enlists E.B. White's Charlotte) is vitiated by frequent images and mentions of black widows, brown recluses, some Australian spiders, and how seldom anyone actually dies from venomous bites, the mixed message will still draw both budding naturalists and readers after cheap thrills in equal numbers. An unusual approach to the creepiest of crawlies, likely to snare unwary passers-by in droves. (index, multimedia resource lists, glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-11)" --- Kirkus Reveiws 7/22/15

"As the holiday of creepy, crawly things reaches its celebratory date tomorrow, I have to admit I am NOT fond of spiders. I don't exactly suffer from arachnophobia but after reading Alexandra Siy's and Dennis Kunkel's new book Spidermania: Friends on the Web I am extremely glad that some people have found them worthy of study.

They don't look anything like us. They have two body parts and eight legs and various numbers of eyes that form a pattern on the head. Most amazingly, they have organs, called spinnerets, that create a variety of silks that can be "stronger than steel, tougher than nylon, stretchier than a bungee cord and stickier than glue." The silk that encloses spider eggs has been an inspiration for Kevlar -- "a man-made material used to make bulletproof vests, cut-proof gloves and super-light kayaks."

The book is illustrated with photographs and Dennis Kunkel's glorious electromicrographs, which have been colorized to show important features. Here are spiders in all their grotesque glory! You can marvel at the sight of silk emerging from a spinneret, the fangs of a brown recluse spider and the eight eyes of the jumping spider.

Yes, this is a children's book for kids in middle grades but that's only because grown-ups don't often read about something they know little about. In my mission to shed light on the world of children's nonfiction literature, Alexandra Siy's crystal clear, lyrical writing and Dennis Kunkel's microscopic details show spiders in all their magnificence. Spidermania: Friends on the Web is the perfect antidote for turning fear into fascination" --- Vicki Cobb, Huffington Post 10/30/15

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Your Body Battles Book Series

Meet your personal superheroes--your body's cells! Superhero cells rally together to battle common childhood ailments in this series. Popular science author Vicki Cobb explains how your amazing human body heals itself and fights off intruders. Spectacular, cutting-edge photomicrographs by Dr. Dennis Kunkel give you a close-up look at cells at work, while full-color illustrations by Andrew Harris enhance the lively design.

Selected Reviews for Your Body Battles series

"A very cool new series I have come across this spring season is one that incorporates education, cartoons, and photomicrographs (which I'll tell you more about in just a minute). Intrigued yet? The "Your Body Battles A..." series includes six titles focusing on different problems a body battles in it's lifetime, including skinned knees, colds, cavities, etc, on a level that is easy to read for kids, but really neat even for adults. The two titles I got a chance to review, Your Body Battles a Cavity and Your Body Battles a Broken Bone are written by Vicki Cobb, with photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel and illustrations by Andrew N. Harris. We get to actually learn, step by step, the things our bodies due to take care of a problem, through the cartoon "super heroes" Red Blood Cell, Nerve Cell, and Osteoblast, along with several other partners in health. The photomicrographs are actually super-blown-up pictures of actual cells, blood vessels, muscles, and bones that are unbelievably cool. And though the cartoon illustrations are a bit goofy, they definitely add to the kid appeal. Plenty of italicized words throughout the text fill-up a glossary in the back, along with an index, further reading suggestions, and websites. I think these books will be incredibly successful in libraries, being both fun and educational. I love the concept in the two books I saw and I think the Your Body Battles a Skinned Knee title would be pretty neat to look at too." --- A Patchwork of Books March 9, 2009

"Veteran science writer Cobb presents various aspects of the body's immune system to young readers. In Your Body Battles a Cold the battle's participants are portrayed with cartoon-like characters fighting each other as the cold progresses. The human body's microscopic cells and defenders (cilia, neutrophil, goblet cell, and plasma cell) go up against the invading viruses during each stage. Fairly interesting text does a good job trying to explain such a complex topic, with each step of the invasion, battles, and outcome illustrated. Colorized images from an electron microscope are included; whether they help or hinder the topic may depend on the reader and the need for such detail. A good-size glossary, small further readings, three websites, and index are included. Larger non-fiction collections for early elementary readers will find the most use for these titles." --- BayViews March, 2009

"Your Body Battles a Broken Bone, Your Body Battles a Cavity and Your Body Battles an Earache succeed in demystifying and explaining the science behind common childhood experiences. The body is described as a battlefield where superhero cells work hard as a team to mend a broken bone, fight off plaque, and battle an infection. To this end, many of the vibrant illustrations anthropomorphize various cells and other "battle" participants, making the science explained approachable and easy to understand. Photomicrographs further illuminate the text. These amazing pictures, taken with a scanning electron microscope, are greatly magnified and colored to highlight certain features. Although the information at the close of Earache is perhaps simplistic and overly optimistic in terms of the body's ability to heal itself without the use of antibiotics, all three titles would be good additions to most libraries." ---School Library Journal May 2009

"Three books reviewed could be used in the classroom to introduce the concepts of the digestive system (Stomachache), the immune system and blood clots (Skinned Knee), and antibodies (Cold); they could also be kept in the library as a reference for science projects for elementary school kids. These books are a good starting point for introducing children to the scientific method by asking them what happens when they get a cold, a skinned knee, or a stomachache. The children can use the books to make hypotheses and draw conclusions." --- Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy May/June, 2009

"Riveting microscope images bring to life the concept of germs. Images by award-winning Hawai'i photographer Dennis Kunkel are the foundation for the nationally published Body Battles series, which introduces young readers to their own personal "superheroes" — the cells in their bodies. The books, for ages 9 to 12, illuminate the striking depth and detail of scientific information available to youngsters. Kunkel, formerly of the University of Hawai'i, specializes in microscope images called micrographs. The images are taken with a scanning electron microscope. Originally the photos were in black and white. Kunkel colorizes them, which adds depth and highlights complex details. "Your Body Battles a Stomachache," one title in the Body Battles series, begins by explaining that when we have a tummy ache, throw up or have diarrhea, it means we've caught a "bug," much like a "cold" that attacks the digestive system. The author, Vicki Cobb, writes: "A stomach ache can start when a virus enters your body, perhaps from dirty hands. A virus is a very small germ, smaller than most cells." The illustration here is brilliant. Creepy green germs marching up a hand that is touching a mouth. The invaders continue marching into the mouth, and up into the nostrils, creating a compelling image to help children literally see why it is important to wash our hands. Kunkel's fascinating photos of nerve cells, muscle cells, bone cells and red blood cells (superheroes fighting for our health) bring to life the concept of these very tiny living things invisible to us most of the time. Vicki Cobb, who has authored more than 80 nonfiction books for kids, writes all of the books in the Body Battles series. Illustrator Andrew Harris rounds out the series' creative team — putting a human spin on those superhero body cells that fight off infections. The Body Battles series includes other titles about skinned knees, broken bones, cavities earaches and the common cold. Budding scientists in particular will find these books a treat." --- Jolie Jean Cotton, The Honolulu Advertiser July 12, 2009


Your Body Battles a Skinned Knee

  • Vicki Cobb, Photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel, Illustrations by Andrew Harris
  • Published in February 2009
  • Published by Millbrook Press - A Division of Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, MN
  • ISBN 978-0-8225-6814-8
  • 32 pages; 9 x 9 inches
  • Cover Price: $25.26 (School & Library discount price $18.95)

OUCH! You know that a skinned knee hurts. But did you know that it's the start of a battle? Your body has to work quickly to protect you from a germ invasion. Nerve cells sound an alarm that you're hurt. Blood rushes in to fight germs that come in through the scrape. And skin cells make brand-new skin for your knee. Before your know it your cells have won a battle and you're as good as new.

Get a close look at this body battle with comic illustrations and ground-breaking photomicrographs. The photomicrographs magnify the actual cellular processes tens of thousands of times, offering you a front row seat for all the action.

To Order:

Contact Lerner Publishing Group (800) 328-4929 or

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Lerner Publishing web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

Selected Reviews for Your Body Battles a Skinned Knee

"By combining simple, yet engaging text; comic-like illustrations; and greatly magnified photomicrographs, this book describes the healing process of a bloodied knee in a fashion that is both entertaining and easy to understand, with, perhaps, the exception of pronunciation of the biological terms. The fun kicks off with our superhero lineup: Platelet, Skin Cell, Blood Cell, Nerve Cell, and Macrophage (a chubby little guy with six arms and utility belt). The drama kicks into higher gear when we meet those no-good villains, the germs, who are especially creepy when they hitch rides on your fingers to gain access to wounds. The book is capped with a glossary, further readings, Web sites, and an index. Part of the Body Battles series that includes titles on broken bones, cavities, colds, stomachaches, and earaches, this is a fine addition for both public and school libraries" --- BookList February, 2009

"In Your Body Battles a Skinned Knee, the concepts are very well explained and the illustrations very well suited to the text. On page 5, there is some repetition of sentences from Your Body Battles a Stomachache, but it is in context. The many illustrations make the concept of the immune system easy to understand." --- Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy May / June, 2009

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Your Body Battles a Cold

  • Vicki Cobb, Photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel, Illustrations by Andrew Harris
  • Published in February 2009
  • Published by Millbrook Press - A Division of Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, MN
  • ISBN 978-0-8225-6813-1
  • 32 pages; 9 x 9 inches
  • Cover Price: $25.26 (School & Library discount price $18.95)

SNIFF, SNIFF, ACHOO! You know how miserable a cold can make you feel. But did you know that it's the start of a battle? Nasty germs called rhinoviruses attach cells inside your nose. Luckily, your body doesn't take this assault lying down. While your nose works to blow the invaders out with sneezes and wash them out with mucus, your blood cells also move in to fight the rhinoviruses to the death. That yellow-green muscus that's part of a cold is really dead viruses and dead blood cells - all casualties of the battle that your body will win.

Get a close look at this body battle with comic illustrations and ground-breaking photomicrographs. The photomicrographs magnify the actual cellular processes tens of thousands of times, offering you a front row seat for all the action.

To Order:

Contact Lerner Publishing Group (800) 328-4929 or

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Lerner Publishing web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

Selected Reviews for Your Body Battles a Cold

"Your Body Battles a Cold introduces the concept of antibodies very well; the pictures complement the text and are very bright and colorful." --- Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy May / June, 2009

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Your Body Battles a Stomachache

  • Vicki Cobb, Photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel, Illustrations by Andrew Harris
  • Published in February 2009
  • Published by Millbrook Press - A Division of Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, MN
  • ISBN 978-0-8225-7166-7
  • 32 pages; 9 x 9 inches
  • Cover Price: $25.26 (School & Library discount price $18.95)

UH OH! Your stomach really hurts. You're feeling queasy. And you know what's coming next. But did you also that these feelings are the start of a battle? A germ, probably a virus, is attaching your intestines. So your brain sends a message to your stomach to get rid of its contents. You throw up. Goblet cells launch in to action, flooding your intestines with mucus. Then you have diarrhea to wash away the viruses. The experience may not be pleasant, but your body is winning the battle against the virus invaders.

Get a close look at this body battle with comic illustrations and ground-breaking photomicrographs. The photomicrographs magnify the actual cellular processes tens of thousands of times, offering you a front row seat for all the action.

To Order:

Contact Lerner Publishing Group (800) 328-4929 or

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Lerner Publishing web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

Selected Reviews for Your Body Battles a Stomache

"Your Body Battles a Stomachache by Vicki Cobb, illustrated by Andrew N. Harris, photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel. Various cells are brought to life, cartoon superhero-style, in this vivid depiction of what goes on when you're reaching for the Pepto-Bismol." --- Instructor March / April, 2009

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Your Body Battles a Broken Bone

  • Vicki Cobb, Photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel, Illustrations by Andrew Harris
  • Published in February 2009
  • Published by Millbrook Press - A Division of Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, MN
  • ISBN 978-0-8225-7468-2
  • 32 pages; 9 x 9 inches
  • Cover Price: $25.26 (School & Library discount price $18.95)

CRAACK! Breaking a bone hurts! But did you know that it's the start of a battle for your body to heal itself? That ache happens because damaged nerve cells send out a cry for help. In response, red blood cells rush in to bring oxygen and nutrients. While blood cells clean up the dead bone and muscle cells. Blood also brings fibroblast cells. They build a sort of scaffolding around the break so that new bone will fill in. And stem cells arrive to transform themselves into cells that will make brand-new bone. The whole area becomes an active constructions site as your body battles the damage and heals itself.

Get a close look at this body battle with comic illustrations and ground-breaking photomicrographs. The photomicrographs magnify the actual cellular processes tens of thousands of times, offering you a front row seat for all the action.

To Order:

Contact Lerner Publishing Group (800) 328-4929 or

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Lerner Publishing web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

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Your Body Battles a Cavity

  • Vicki Cobb, Photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel, Illustrations by Andrew Harris
  • Published in February 2009
  • Published by Millbrook Press - A Division of Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, MN
  • ISBN 978-0-8225-7469-9
  • 32 pages; 9 x 9 inches
  • Cover Price: $25.26 (School & Library discount price $18.95)

OH, NO! Your teeth are the hardest things in your body, yet tiny germs are able to make holes in them. A hole in your tooth is called a cavity, and once you have one, only a dentist can come to the rescue. The key is to prevent cavities from forming in the first place. Every day, there's a battle going on in your mouth. Acids and bacteria attack teeth and plaque builds up. You body has superheroes - your saliva - that try to fight off acids. By brushing and flossing your teeth, you can help your body fight off the germ invaders and prevent cavities.

Get a close look at this body battle with comic illustrations and ground-breaking photomicrographs. The photomicrographs magnify the actual cellular processes tens of thousands of times, offering you a front row seat for all the action.

To Order:

Contact Lerner Publishing Group (800) 328-4929 or

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Lerner Publishing web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

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Your Body Battles an Earache

  • Vicki Cobb, Photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel, Illustrations by Andrew Harris
  • Published in February 2009
  • Published by Millbrook Press - A Division of Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, MN
  • ISBN 978-0-8225-6812-4
  • 32 pages; 9 x 9 inches
  • Cover Price: $25.26 (School & Library discount price $18.95)

OW! You know how much an earache can hurt. Bud did you know that it's the start of a battle? The pain is a signal that your body is working to fight off germs that are attacking the cells in your ear. These infected cells send out an alarm that calls your body to action. Blood vessels open wide to bring extra food and oxygen to the area. Specialized white blood cells arrive on the scene to kill invaders. It is a major battle, one that your body has an excellent chance of winning all on its own.

Get a close look at this body battle with comic illustrations and ground-breaking photomicrographs. The photomicrographs magnify the actual cellular processes tens of thousands of times, offering you a front row seat for all the action.

To Order:

Contact Lerner Publishing Group (800) 328-4929 or

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Lerner Publishing web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

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Bug Shots - The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly

  • By Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkel
  • Published in October 2011
  • Published by Holiday House, New York, NY
  • ISBN 978-0-8234-2286-9
  • 32 pages; 10 x 10 inches
  • Cover Price: $16.95

Bugs bite, drink blood, and rob food from gardens and fields. They can even kill plants, animals, and, occasionally, people. Is bugging a crime?

Author and photographer Alexandra Siy compiles “rap sheets” on several of the major categories of bugs and takes a very close look at some of the types of insects in an engaging text.

Dennis Kunkel's fascinating photo micrographs magnify insect parts from 10 to 300,000 times their actual sizes. This kid-friendly approach, coupled with meticulous research and lively writing, turns learning about insects into an intriguing experience.

To Order:

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Holiday House web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

Bug Shots Awards

Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12 from the Children’s Book Council.

Eureka! Nonfiction Children's Book Gold Award from the California Reading Association

Selected Reviews for Bug Shots

"Siy and Kunkel put a tongue-in-cheek spin on entomology, with dramatically magnified specimens presented in "Wanted" posters that make use of photomicrographs, taken through a scanning electron microscope and then colorized. "Fascinating, flashy, or felonious" beetles have been known to consume museum artifacts, but their carrion ways are actually a big help: "Animals and plants die from accidents, disease, and old age just like people. Someone needs to clean up the mess." While Siy has fun casting various insect species, like the "malaria-carrying" Anopheles mosquito, as criminals, she also makes clear their value in pollination, pest control, and other beneficial traits. The neon-hued extreme close-ups of compound eyes, antennae, and other insect features make this both a clever and useful science book." --- Publishers Weekly 9/9/11

"With a conversational text and vividly colored photomicrographs, this eye-catching title makes entomology exciting and accessible. A framing narrative device that invites readers to join the FBI (as a Fellow Bug Investigator) and find out about the "most wanted" suspects feels unnecessary; the facts about insects form a gripping story on their own. The numbers are astonishing (there are almost 150 million insects for every human), and so is the visual detail, as in the full-page, close-up view of the house fly’s large compound eye, composed of hundreds of tiny lenses. Bugs play an essential role in the ecology of the planet, and most are harmless to humans, like the "adorable" water strider, shown in a magnified image of its legs as it walks on water. But mosquitoes are considered one of the deadliest animals on earth, with 20 species that carry malaria. Open the spacious book anywhere, and the photos and facts will grab readers and make them want to read more. A long glossary and a list of suggested reading closes this good choice for researchers, browsers, and reluctant readers alike." --- Booklist 12/1/11

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Sneeze!

  • By Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkel
  • Published in May 2007
  • Published by Charlesbridge Publishing, Watertown, MA
  • ISBN 978-1-57091-653-3
  • 40 pages; 9 x 9 inches
  • Cover Price: $16.95

Achoo!

Lily carries an armful of pollen-filled hay, Isaiah inhales ground black pepper, and Jonnie encounters mold spores in his damp basement. All three children are about to sneeze, and nothing can stop it.

Black-and-white photos of nine children in sneeze-inducing situations are contrasted with amazing micrographs of the allergens and physical and chemical irritants that cause the sneezes.

Science writer Alexandra Siy takes readers from the external world of mites, pollen, and mold into the body's nervous system, explaining how neurons, muscles, and lungs all work together to generate the sneeze reflex.

Dennis Kunkel's electron micrographs bring readers up close and personal to dust mites, spider silk, pollen, fungus, and more--all magnified 400 to 200,000 times.

Back matter includes a glossary of terms, sneeze trivia, a note about micrographs, and extended resources for further study.

To Order:

Contact Charlesbridge publishing (617) 926-0329 or

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Charlesbridge Publishing web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

Sneeze Awards

2008 Science Writing Award, American Institute of Physics

NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book Selector's Choice

Bookbuilders of Boston New England Book Show Winner

New York Public Library's One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing List for 2007

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best

Selected Reviews for Sneeze

"With an opening likely to leave hypochondriacs in a state of blind panic, Siy and Kunkel return to introduce no fewer than nine children about to sneeze, each from a different cause, before going on to trace the reflex's complex neuron-muscular pathways. Kunkel's typically riveting micrographs zoom in on pollen grains, a single piece of ground pepper, a dust mite floating in a cloud of skin flakes and fecal pellets, mildew, a clot of house dust, cat dander, viruses and other sneeze-inducers - all beautifully colorized (properly so noted) and carefully labeled. Capped with a gathering of extra facts, stills from Thomas Edison's first moving picture (guess its title) and a list of resources, mostly from the web, this offering has it all - from explosive humor and drama to fascinating pictures, precise and clearly presented information, useful backmatter and a topic that touches on a universal experience." --- Kirkus Reviews 6/15/07

"Do you ever sneeze in the morning sunshine? Then you'll enjoy this lively, charming, beautifully-designed and illustrated book, which gives us "nine sneezes for nine reasons." Written at a middle-school level, it will be of interest to a wide range of ages, from third-graders who will be able to read the titles, to adults, who all will learn something new. The simple but surprisingly sophisticated scientific explanations of why (and how) people sneeze are supported by black-and-white photographs of children caught in mid-sneeze and wonderful, full-page, colorized electron microphotographs displayed on a striking black background. Elements of each micrograph are labeled, and the magnifications are indicated, ranging from an image of a grain of pepper (x405) to a flu virus (x222,200). There is even the very first photograph of a (simulated) sneeze taken by Thomas Edison in 1888.

The first half of the book is about the many stimuli that induce sneezing, and this is followed by an explanation of how the nerves and muscles work to produce the explosive outburst of a sneeze. There is also a section on fascinating sneeze lore, reminding us to cover our noses and mouths when sneezing-and to wash our hands afterward. Finally, there is a page explaining how the micrographs are produced, a list of resources, and an excellent glossary.

Teachers will find this book to be a natural kick-off to a health unit or useful as an introduction to a study of neurons. Elementary teachers will want to read part of it to students, giving the youngsters plenty of time to ask questions. Students will want to revisit Sneeze! again and again, to enjoy pictures of children like themselves (oh-oh a pillow fight!). It may stimulate an interest in microphotography or interest students in how electrical impulses travel along nerves. Among the very best of science books for kids, this book is nothing to sneeze at!" --- National Science Teachers Association 9/17/07

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The Good, The Bad, The Slimy--The Secret Lives of Microbes

  • By By Sara L. Latta and Dennis Kunkel
  • Published in 2006
  • Published by Enslow Publishers, Berkley Heights, NJ
  • ISBN 978-0-7660-1294-3
  • 128 pages; 6.5 x 9.25 inches
  • Cover Price: $31.93 (School & Library discount price $23.95)

The Secret Lives of Microbes

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi . . . microbes are everywhere! You may think they are all harmful, but most microbes are beneficial. These tiny organisms are too small for us to see, but they impact our lives every day. Learn how microbes live in and on our bodies, help make food, live in extreme environments, and even change history. Sara L. Latta, with a master's degree in microbiology, tells of the fascinating world of the unseen microbes in our lives. Dennis Kunkel Ph. D. provides the fascinating electron micrographs to reveal the invisible world of microorganisms.

To Order:

Contact Enslow Publishers (800) 398-2504 or

Visit Amazon.com or

visit Enslow Publishers, Inc. web page for this book

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

Selected Reviews for The Good, The Bad, The Slimy

"This rich book about microbes is fascinating from cover to cover and will be useful to science curricula in middle and high school and for individual reading." --- Library Media Connection, April/May 2007

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Mosquito Bite

  • By Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkel
  • Published in 2005
  • Published by Charlesbridge Publishing, Watertown, MA
  • ISBN 1-57091-591-1
  • 32 pages; 9.25 x 9.25 inches
  • Cover Price: $15.95

Ready or Not - Here I Come!

The seeker is a mosquito, Culex pipiens, and her search is a matter of life and death. She must find food - blood - to nourish the hundreds for tiny eggs inside her body.

The children's book, "Mosquito Bite," tells a tale of children encountering a mosquito while playing hide and seek. Follow the life story of a mosquito with larger-than-life electron microscope photos. Black and white photographs show the children's game of hide and seek, while astonishing micrographs show Culex mosquito and her world as seen through an electron microscopy. Zoom in for a close-up view: A blade of grass looks like a menacing field of spines. A mosquito's eye becomes a bundle of tightly packet tubes.

To Order:

Contact Charlesbridge publishing (617) 926-0329 or

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Charlesbridge Publishing web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

Awards for Mosquito Bite

  • Junior Library Guild Selection - 1/5/05
  • 2005 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize Finalist - 12/1/05
  • 2006 Orbis Pictus Honor Book for Outstanding Nonfiction - National Council of Teachers of English - 2/5/06
  • NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book (National Science Teachers Association) 3/7/06
  • Texas Bluebonnet Award Masterlist 2006-2007 - 4/1/06

Selected Reviews for Mosquito Bite

"Here children will get an engrossing glimpse of a smaller -- much smaller -- world that co-exists alongside their familiar one, as authors commingle black and white photographs of children at play around a water-filled tire, with digitally colored micrographs of a female mosquito hatching, reaching adulthood and seeking out the blood meal that will allow her to reproduce. Kunkel's ultra-close ups of bristly insect wings and heads, of diatoms, dead skin and red blood cells, make irresistible candy -- rendered even more fascinating by Siy's clear, specific descriptions and explanations." --- Kirkus Reviews 6/7/05

"Kunkel's color enhanced photomicrograph insets provide close-ups of mosquito anatomy, including wings, antennae and that pesky proboscis that causes problems for mammals. Show at magnifications of up to several thousand times with false color enhancement to highlight various features, the micrographs are sharply detailed and provide a wealth of scientific data. The text moves back and forth between discussion of one child's inevitable mosquito bit and the detailed information about the mosquito life cycle and development." --- The Horn Book 1/10/05

"Black and white photographs of an evening game of hide-and-seek are interspersed with stunning color enhanced microphotographs that record the life cycles of another 'seeker' - a female Culex pipiens mosquito looking for a meal. Siy's clear, readable text describes a boy's strategies in avoiding his human 'seeker' and the parallel search of Culex in the growing dusk. Kunkel's exceptional SEM photos provide unbelievable glimpses of red blood cells crammed in a tiny capillary, the feathery 'scales' on a mosquito's wings, and the complex cutting mechanism of its proboscis." --- School Library Journal 1/1/05

"Mosquito Bite provides a fascinating look at the mosquito through a story and accompanying electron microscope photos known as photomicrographs. Electron microscopes capture the details of objects with incredible clarity, up to many thousands of times magnification. The book's stunning photo show body part details of the mosquito (including the 'knives that probe into the skin and antennae hairs) as well as human blood cells and flakes of dry skin. The photos and story are so engaging that kids will barely realize they are learning about a mosquito's life cycle." --- Chesapeake Family 9/1/05

"A child is playing hide-and-go-seek with friends one summer night, as readers are warned: "Something else is looking for the boy." That something else is a female mosquito out for blood. In this innovative book that's not always seamless but nonetheless riveting, the children's story is intertwined with a study of the common house mosquito. The end matter swarms with more information about mosquitoes and micrographs and also includes a glossary and resources for further research." --- Booklist 1/15/2005

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Hidden Worlds - Looking Through a Scientist's Microscope

  • By Steve Kramer, Photographs by Dennis Kunkel
  • Available September 2001
  • Published by Houghton/ Mifflin, Boston, MA
  • ISBN 0618055460
  • Ages 8 and Up
  • 68 pages; 10 x 12 inches
  • Cover Price: $16.00

There are hidden worlds in nature - places you can visit only with a microscope. For more that twenty-five years, Dennis Kunkel Ph.D. has been exploring these worlds. Through the lenses of powerful microscopes, he has examined objects most people have never even thought about: a mosquito's foot, a crystal of sugar, a grain of pollen, the delicate hairs on a blade of grass.

For Dennis, science has always been an adventure, and microscopes have given him the chance to make discoveries and explore new frontiers. Scientists from all over the world send him specimens to examine and photograph. Like a detective, he's never sure where his work will lead. Hidden Worlds takes you behind the scenes of Dennis's work and explains how he captures his remarkable images of microscopic life and objects. You will learn how Dennis became interested in microscopes as a boy, how he prepares specimens for study, and how different kinds of microscopes work. You will also have the chance to follow Dennis as he collects in the field - from ash-covered slopes of Mount St. Helens to the lava tubes, rainforests and beaches of his home state of Hawai'i.

Stephen Kramer's engaging text and Dennis Kunkel's dramatic photographs provide a fascinating look at the work of a microscopist and the remarkable worlds he explores.

To Order:

Contact Houghton Mifflin Company (617) 351-5000

Visit Amazon.com or

visit the Houghton Mifflin Company Publishing web page for this book.

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information

Awards for Hidden Worlds

  • Best 100 Children's Books of the Year 2001 - The New York Public Library. 11/17/01
  • Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children for 2002 - National Science Teachers Association / Children's Book Council. 12/4/01
  • 2002 Notable Book - Association of Library Service to Children - American Library Association. 1/25/02
  • 2001 John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers - John Burroughs Association. 3/18/02
  • 2002 Orbis Pictus Recommended Books List for Outstanding Nonfiction - National Council of Teachers of English. 3/26/02
  • The Best Children's Book of the Year 2002 - Children's Book Committee, Bank Street College of Education. 4/29/02

Selected Reviews for Hidden Worlds

"Outstanding photographs invite the reader into the world of microscopist Dennis Kunkel ... Photographs on every page show vividly colored specimens from minute dust mites magnified 560 times to the neuroglial cell from an Asian tiger mosquito magnified 22,925 times. An excellent addition to the science, biography and careers sections." --- Kirkus Reviews 8/15/2001

"An illuminating look at the work of a microscopist. ... It's fascinating to see the magnified pictures of jellyfish, dust mites and other creatures... this title offers a wealth of scientific information along with an insightful look at the world of an individual scientist." --- School Library Journal 9/29/2001

"The text nicely illustrates how a scientist explores, discovers, and formulates questions. The stunning color photographs provided by scientist, Dennis Kunkel, are the books real strength. ... Substantive, readable and visually outstanding." --- Booklist 8/1/2001

"As a microscopist, Kunkel has examined and photographed objects most of us have never stopped to think about: a mosquito's foot, a grain of sugar. His work allows everyone to perceive the invisible splendors that surround us." --- Smithsonian 10/31/01

"Dennis Kunkel is a microscopist, bringing his explorer's zeal to the usually invisible world. The book traces his career from his early interest in science. discussing enroute the different kinks of microscopes and the processes he uses. Kunkel's photographs are a considerable draw; the emphasis here is in the beauty rather than the ickiness of the microscopic world. The detailed and elaborate structure of plants, animals and basic cells achieves a genuine elegance through Kunkel's pictures, with their artificially contrasting hues subdued by the underlying gray scale coloration, leaving texture and structure at their most distinct." --- The Bulletin, December 2001

"Dennis Kunkel has a cool job. Unlike the content specialists profiled in the previous books in the Scientists in the Field series, Kunkel's expertise lies in the use of a sophisticated scientific tool - microscopy. As a result, he gets to be a modern Renaissance man, dabbling in a variety of science areas beyond his training in botany, muscle cells, post-volcanic eruption pond life, dust mites and critters in his own back yard. This uniquely kaleidoscopic focus allows author Kramer both to explain scientific equipment and procedures and to highlight the important role of technical equipment in scientific research. The profile of this scientist and his work includes typical biographical components, such as Kunkel's early interest in science, but also much detail on the nature of microscopic images and the reliance of science on observation. A particularly illuminating section on mosquitoes compares the images produced by increasingly powerful microscopes. Appropriately, the book prominently features Kunkel's breathtaking colorized microphotographs, a presentation enhanced by the sharp layouts. The clarity and detail in these images is remarkable." --- The Horn Book, December, 2001.

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MicroAliens - Dazzling Journeys with an Electron Microscope

  • By Howard Tomb and Dennis Kunkel
  • Published in 1993
  • Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux; New York, NY
  • ISBN 0-374-34960-6
  • Ages 8 and Up
  • 80 pages; 10 x 10 inches, 134 black and white electron micrographs
  • Cover Price: $16.00

"MicroAliens" uses the powerful electron microscope to turn our everyday surroundings into incredible new worlds. Stunning creatures, beautiful scenery, and strange phenomena are revealed where we least expect them: in our back yards and our homes, in the air and the water, on us and inside us.

"MicroAliens" features 134 dramatic electron microscopic photographs (some with enlargements greater than 50,000 times actual size) along with a crisp text and spirited line drawings. It is a fascinating introduction to the microscopic workings of nature and the human body that will inspire budding scientists and naturalists of all ages.

To Order:

Visit Amazon.com

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information.

Awards for MicroAliens

  • 1994 Book for the Teen Age New York Public Library 2/20/94
  • 1994 John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers John Burroughs Association 3/16/94
  • 1994 Children's Book of the Year Bank Street College 3/31/94

Selected Reviews for MicroAliens

"one of the year's most enchanting, entertaining, colorful volumes for a child's bookshelf." - People Magazine editors Susan Toepfer and Elizabeth Sporkin --- People Magazine 12/13/93

"Incredible new worlds are seen ... one is surprised by the creatures, scenery, and strange phenomena revealed where least expected. Young scientists will be inspired by this introduction to the microscopic world." --- Pick of the Lists, American Bookseller

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Dennis Kunkel's Microscopic World Gallery Prints

Astrographics is pleased to offer Dennis Kunkel's Microscopic World gallery prints––large-format photographic reproductions of your favorite images by world-renowned electron microscopist Dennis Kunkel printed onto high-quality photographic paper. Astrographics offers Microscopic World gallery prints in three 16" by 20" formats. These prints are truly impressive and are suitable for display in homes, offices, classrooms, museums, and corporate lobbies. And they make great gifts––for anyone with an interest in the hidden realms of the microscopic world. Dennis Kunkel also licenses digital files to make your own art prints. Contact Dennis Kunkel to discuss ordering files to make your personal art prints.

To Order:

Visit AstroGraphics Publishing

Or Contact Dennis Kunkel for information to license additional images from our site for personal use

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Dennis Kunkel's Microscopic World Poster

50 vibrant pictures with text from one of the world's best photomicroscopists, Dr. Dennis Kunkel. Enter one of Earth's most fascinating frontiers with fabulous up-close pictures (electron micrographs) arranged in categories of: algae, fungus and mold, medical, bacteria and viruses, insects and arachnids, ancient bacteria, and invertebrates. Click here for some close up views of the poster. Price $19.50

To Order:

Contact Dennis Kunkel to order the poster.

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