All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World

Lori Alexander, illus. by Vivien Mildenberger. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-328-88420-6
In this well-researched biography, immediate present-tense narration by Alexander (Famously Phoebe) allows readers to feel that they’re making discoveries right alongside scientist Antony van Leeuwenhoek in 1670s Netherlands. Though van Leeuwenhoek didn’t invent the microscope, his refinements of the instrument and endless curiosity resulted in the discovery of hidden microbial realms. Ten short chapters describe how the “father of microbiology,” who viewed hundreds of specimens, succeeded despite lacking formal training. Naïf full-color illustrations by Mildenberger (Famous Family Trees) depict a ruddy-cheeked van Leeuwenhoek going about his work, while numerous sidebars contextualize and expand the story. One, for example, shows a diagram of van Leeuwenhoek’s first microscope; others explore topics such as convex versus concave lenses and bubonic plague. A timeline, glossary, bibliography, and index wrap up Alexander’s highly engaging account of how one man’s ingenuity and curiosity led to big discoveries of small worlds. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7–10. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/16/2019
Release date: 08/06/2019
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-0-358-03619-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-9749-6801-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-9749-6797-1
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