I read this one in Dutch (and love the Dutch title which is Virus Lab), but thought I would share my thoughts in English. The book is, in my eyes, perfect for the Halloween season given how gruesome these diseases are. Plus, the art works well for the season as well.
In this delightful and disgusting book we learn all about those nasty diseases and gruesome pestilence and plagues. And we do so in a very fun way, namely with illustrations! Each two pages is a theme and each one has a full spread illustration to go along with it. In those illustrations we see rats, diseases, fleas, mosquitos do their nasty things (or just do tests and other fun things). Disgusting, but fun! It made the book even more interesting to me and I soaked up the information. Well, a lot of it I already knew, but there were still a couple of things I learned from the book. We learn about smallpox, the black plague/bubonic plague, to HIV and SARS. We learn about how they came to fruition and also what (and who) cured them. How various vaccines were made. We see how these diseases were spread (not just through rats, but also because of people who either run or don’t know they are sick (for instance leprosy takes 20 (!!) years to show itself but you can infect others in that time).
The book really reminded me of those Horrible History and Horrible Science books! And I love that as those series were my favs when I was a kid and even as an adult I pick them up at times to re-read them again.
And yes, I skipped the Corona part. Great that it is added, but sorry we are still in Corona and things are still not normal… I don’t need to read about that crap. Nope. No Thank you. Maybe in 10 years I will be able to read about it without feeling the need to destroy things. For now. Keep it away.
I love love love loved the art. It was such a perfect style for this kind of book. I definitely am curious what more John Kelly has done! The style is vaguely like one I know, but Goodreads definitely isn’t a help given there are just too many John Kellys. If anyone knows the right John Kelly, let me know!