What people are saying about our books...


I read your first book The Squid the Vibrio & the Moon to my four-year-old grandson and he was absolutely riveted. As soon as I finished, he demanded that I read it again. He was swept up by the story, the incredible characters in it and wonders of the relationships that have evolved. I look forward to the series to come.
— David Suzuki (Scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster)
The Squid, the Vibrio and the Moon charmed me, educated me and astounded me, and if anything I’m even more charmed, educated and astounded by Zobi and the Zoox. It’s tense, gripping and enthralling – not only for children but for all ages...one of the most original and exciting book projects for children that I’ve seen for a long time.
— Jane Sullivan, author and literary critic - The Age newspaper
A proper science book, inside a beautifully illustrated story aimed at kids, that emphasises cooperation about a part of the world that’s usually ignored.
— Geek in Sydney Blog
The foundation of all science is enquiry, and this book will encourage readers to wonder about the world, and desire to know more.
— Margaret Kett, former librarian and founder of KettleStitchPress

Small Friends in the Media:

ABC Radio National: Science Show Interview

ABC Top Five Science Reads of 2014

Reading Time (CBCA) review: Zobi and the Zoox

ACF Habitat magazine (March 2015) p30-31

Geek in Sydney Book Review

Science Book a Day Book Review

Reading Time (CBCA) review: SquidVibrioMoon

Books & Publishing Junior article (March 2015)

Views & Reviews Blog: review by Dr. Gillian Dite

Environmental Humanities Now: May 6, 2015

Science Book a Day interviews Gregory Crocetti

Views & Reviews Blog: Interview with Aviva Reed

The Age newspaper: May 2015

Australian Animal Protection Law Journal review

The Canberra Times: review of The Invisible War

ABC Science Show: Zobi and the Zoox Interview

Books+Publishing Magazine: The Invisible War review by Kevin Orrman-Rossiter

American Society for Microbiology: Small Things Considered review

Reading Time (CBCA) review: The Invisible War

The Age newspaper: August 2016

ABC News: Science Week August 2016

 

Truth is stranger than fiction, and science truth is stranger than science fiction: Here is an adventure story as inspiring as any fairy tale—an epic tale of symbiosis which teaches children (and grownups!) ethics, ecology, and survival—and also happens to be true!
— Dorion Sagan, author - Cosmic Apprentice: Dispatches from the Edges of Science)
Congratulations, The Squid, the Vibrio & the Moon is superb…It’s very clever and great fun.
— Robyn Williams (The Science Show, ABC Radio)
When I read Zobi and the Zoox I felt like I was a Rhizobia bacterium making ammonia to help Darian build the reef. It was like I was floating around in the hot water of the reef seeing all the bleached coral. I also think that even though the Zoox, Zobi and even Darian are all quite small they mean a lot to the world, I also love the pictures.
— Kieran, age 11
Aviva Reed’s wonderfully liquid illustrations infuse the microbial world with life, colour and a sense of movement; they clearly communicate the complexities of an interconnected and interdependent ecosystem.
— Reading Time (The Children's Book Council of Australia)
Scale Free Network’s production of The Squid, the Vibrio & the Moon and Zobi and the Zoox represents a fundamental shift towards the development of a new and transformative ecological imagination in children and adults alike. Each book tells an engaging story for sure, but what is exceptional about these stories is that they weave together complex and ongoing narratives about the worlds of art, science, technology, society and culture, politics, ecology and ethics to name a few. These books are exemplary of an important philosophy of education: do not assume that anything is so ‘grown-up’ that it is beyond children’s understanding; and do not assume that anything is so childish that it is no longer within the reach of adults.
— Maurizio Toscano, Lecturer in Science Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Today we were very excited to receive the book The Squid, The Vibrio and The Moon. I wasn’t really sure what our wee chap, who is almost 4, would think of it. I thought the language may have been too complicated for him but he absolutely loves the story. We have already read it three times and it only arrived at 2pm today.
He thinks it’s amazing that Sepio has an invisibility cloak and he enjoys all the “baddies”, Protozoa, Lizardfish and the Hawaiian Monk Seal. I think what you have created is truly wonderful. The fact that it is an engaging story of real life is fantastic and you can see him absorbing and learning so much without having to teach him anything. The illustrations are really easy to follow and understand with the story. The best part is he will continue to learn from this book as he ages.
— Nicole, mother
He talks about guardian haemocytes. He likes to tell people how they protect his body from bad bacteria. Such a lovely book.
— Mother of a 3 year old The Squid, the Vibrio & the Moon book-owner
The Squid, the Vibrio & the Moon is a beautifully designed and written book that will delight and challenge a young reader, leaving them wanting to know more about underwater creatures and their complex inter-relationships.
— Dr. George Aranda, Science Communication & Science Education Specialist
An epic story of a world so far from our own - so close to our own - told with majesty and exquisitely illustrated. The Squid, the Vibrio and the Moon gives the young reader everything they could want and much more: action, emotion, high drama and information, that explains with verve the interconnected story of life on another scale - and generates more questions as it fuels curiosity, ignites imaginations. This is narrative non-fiction at its best: a perfect bridge for primary-aged children to move from the relative safety of Story, to the often intimidating world of Information. Story is in our DNA - it is how we make sense of the world we observe/ experience from the micro to the macroscopic level. It enables us to connect to that world emotionally. The Squid, the Vibrio and the Moon does this beautifully. Our 200 grade 3/4 students continue to wonder and question and talk with excitement and authority(!) about the key players of a story that has changed how they see and know the world. We look forward to what comes next!
— Nadja, Teacher in the Library, St Joseph's Primary School.
Ali and Sepio - It’s like friendship but they don’t know each other - but they need each other.
It’s a very good story - It was like I went on the whole journey but on the way some of my friends died but then I got happy because we were glowing..
The moon belly picture was awesome it was like a sunflower glowing blue in the sky .
I think you should make a third book and I think the next book should be about the Protozoa going back to his home and his life coz it’s like they are old mans - is that really what they look like?
I like how the molecules bounced off to another person because it’s drawn well and you can see how it happens.
— Savian Prosen, 7
When I was reading the book (Zobi and the Zoox), I felt like I was a piece of coral near Darian, and I was just watching all these little things and animals and little business going on in the mucus and inside Darian. I really felt like I was a part of it.
— Bodhi Harper, 12
The illustrations throughout are detailed and evocative, in a style just like the cover’s. The text manages to introduce a really complex symbiotic relationship in relatively simple terms. In some cases this includes breaking info down into real simple terms or an analogy. But in other parts it doesn’t avoid all the jargon of biology or words that may be unfamiliar to a child. Nonetheless I think it would work with an inquisitive older child and a parent that would read it along and help explain.

The story is divided into two parts, the first from the point of view of the Vibrio bacteria and the second from the point of view of the squid, tying everything together in showing how the light produced by the bacteria is beneficial to the squid’s survival. A final section, still superbly illustrated, goes into much greater detail with the science with material suitable for an older child or even someone into high school age.
— Daniel Haeusser, Reading 1000 Lives Blog