Microbes make up 99% of life on Earth, playing a vital role in the health of all living entities and ecosystems. And yet no stories or education resources exist to help explain this.
Featuring beautiful illustrations and based in complex science, the Small Friends Books series re-imagine the world from a microbial point of view. While targeting 8-12y/o, the books are designed to be gorgeous artworks that appeal to curious minds of any age. Each science-adventure story focuses on symbiotic partnerships between microorganisms and larger life forms.˙
Xeno’s Feast takes place in the dynamic underworld beneath our feet, soil. It is a delightfully gothic tale that explores the unique partnership between plants, nematodes (roundworms) and Xenos (Xenorhabdus bacteria). The story takes readers on a dangerous journey through the labyrinthine soil landscape, as a small gang of juvenile nematodes undergo a rite of passage…
Socio-economic modelling forecasts a growing need for STEM education, as Australian children slip further down international league tables in Mathematics and Science. The current crisis of science teaching in Australia requires new modes of engagement.
Small Friends Books takes the approach of teaching science through storytelling – creating new tools to engage and educate children and their teachers, parents and grandparents about the critical roles of microbes in the world around us.
This new title in our Small Friends Books series will build on the reputation of Scale Free Network (SFN) as a leader in art-science collaboration with a revolutionary approach to creating narrative non-fiction. Our first three books have received 11 literary, design and education accolades to date, including a US Independent Publishers Book Award, an Environment Award for Children’s Literature, a CBCA ‘Notable of 2017’ and Most Outstanding Educational Resource (2017 Aust. Educational Publishing Awards.)
The series has already been fortunate to receive some financial support from the Australian Society of Microbiology and Creative Victoria – which have allowed us to complete the research and creative development of the story.
Through our new co-publishing partnership with CSIRO Publishing, Xeno’s Feast will reach audiences around Australia and internationally.
However, we still need to raise $15,000 to complete Xeno’s Feast over the second half of 2018. These funds will specifically cover the costs of Illustration (Aviva Reed), Book Layout & Design (Briony Barr), Science Writing (Gregory Crocetti) and Graphic Design (Jaye Carcary).
More info at: www.smallfriendsbooks.com
Our first title, Zobi and the Zoox is now available through CSIRO Publishing: