Why did I love this book?
This picture book biography does so many things at once—and does it all with a masterful, lyrical storytelling voice. Of course, the primary thing this book does is tell the story of a real person’s life: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In this story, we learn about his ordinary childhood, his personal interests, and the ways his family inspired and encouraged him. It shows that even people we see on the news were once children, just like the kids reading this book. More than that, this book is a celebration of science and the excitement of scientific discoveries.
It reminds kids (and grown-ups) that science is a creative endeavour. So once the urgency of learning about the COVID virus wanes, this book will be still valuable as a primer on how scientists do their work. Additionally, though the narrative part of the story doesn’t get too deep into the medical and scientific elements of the coronavirus, at the end of the book you will find informational pages about vaccines and the pursuit of science. Even though he’s known these days for his work with COVID, Fauci is first and foremost a scientist. And author Kate Messner is a master at writing picture book biographies. What a great combination!