Small Friends Books Series 3 Read Description

Nema and the Xenos

A Story of Soil Cycles

August 2019
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    1st August 2019
  • ISBN 9781486312160
  • Language English
  • Pages 48 pp.
  • Size 9" x 9"
  • Images color illus throughout

This is a story about tiny creatures that live in the darkness of the soil.

When a tree cries out in pain, some unexpected heroes come to the rescue. Nema and her gang of young nematodes (tiny worms) embark on a dangerous journey underground. The Xenos, a group of wise but deadly bacteria, hitch a ride. The story of how they help the tree is full of action, life-or-death challenges and microscopic warfare. It is a story of cooperation and ancient partnership, about events happening all over the Earth, in the hidden worlds beneath our feet.

  • A beautifully illustrated science-adventure story, created in collaboration with scientists
  • Engages children in the invisible world of microbes
  • "The Science Behind the Story" section allows for deeper exploration of the scientific concepts underpinning the story
  • Teacher Notes available to support the use of this book in the classroom
  • The Small Friends Books series combines cutting-edge scientific research, rich narrative and beautiful illustrations to tell stories that describe symbiotic partnerships between microbes and larger life forms.

"A beautifully illustrated, exciting and engaging story that is sure to inspire a child’s imagination; while providing a scientifically accurate glimpse into the complex structure and living networks within soil." 

Dr. Eva Schneider and Dr. Elaine Ingham, Soil Foodweb

"Nema and the Xenos: A Story of Soil Cycles is a must-read for every child and every adult to remember that microbes make us, we are soil, we are members of a complex, creative, cooperative Earth Family."

Vandana Shiva - Scientist, Environmentalist and Author

"Biological verité but as gripping and exotic as a fairy tale."

Dorion Sagan - Writer and Theorist

"Nema and the Xenos is a clever story that enlightens readers ages 8-12 of the detailed nature of soil and its inhabitants. The illustrations are scientific and picturesque allowing young readers to see scientific diagrams and words and link this to tangible natural objects."

Vanessa Rendall, Educate Empower blog, 11 July 2019

Ailsa Wild

Ailsa Wild creates stories for theater and paper pages. She loves collaborating with acrobats, scientists and children and her favorite question is ... But why?

Aviva Reed

Aviva Reed is a multi-disciplinary visual ecologist who creates immersive experiences to explore complex science.

Briony Barr

Briony Barr is a conceptual artist, designer and interdisciplinary thinker, who is fascinated in the relationships between large and small.

Gregory Crocetti

Gregory Crocetti combines his microbial ecology experience with science education skills in an attempt to teach the world that microbes are marvelous.

S. Patricia Stock

Patricia Stock is a Professor at the University of Arizona. Her expertise is in insect pathology, with a focus on parasitic nematodes. Her work centers on the diversity, evolutionary relationships and symbioses these parasites have with their eukaryotic hosts and bacterial symbiotic partners.

microbes; symbiotic partnership; picture book; soil organisms; nematodes; bacteria