March 25, 2015

Zombie-making parasites!

Zombie Makers: True Stories of Nature's Undead
by Rebecca L. Johnson

Fungi that feed on organs and tissue, worms that make crickets drown themselves, wasp larvae that turn caterpillars into zombie bodyguards - these are some of the horrific parasites that can take over the bodies and brains of unsuspecting creatures. The icky stories are supplemented with wonderfully gross photos that will enthrall kids and teens alike. Included are scientific backgrounds that explain how the parasites do what they do and why. The book ends ominously with T. gondii, with which many humans are infected. 

A deliciously scary read.

What's Eating You? Parasites -- The Inside Story
by Nicola Davies
illustrated by Neal Layton

The cartoon parasites in Davies' book are so cute and friendly-looking, you may want to keep them as pets. While she does mention some unpleasant facts, her presentation tones down the grossness factor which will appeal to more sensitive readers. She also describes ways that animals deal with parasites, extols the strength of our immune system, and ends on a reassuringly upbeat note.

A funny and cheerful book.

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