Youth Services Book Review on The Mushroom Fan Club

“The Mushroom Fan Club – Elise Gravel” / Youth Services Book Review / Katrina Yurenka / April 19, 2018

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

What did you like about the book? How many informational books are also incredibly cute and funny?  Well, this one is! Elise Gravel loves mushrooms.  She and her kids go mushroom hunting frequently.  “I’m obsessed with bizarre creatures, and mushrooms are certainly strange! They look like aliens from outer space.” And on the two-page spread that accompanies these words Elise illustrates more than twenty-five different mushrooms.  Giving each eyes makes them all the more fun, real and intriguing.  How can you deny the personality of a being with eyes?  She describes the parts of a mushroom, explains how they reproduce (spores), telling us that there are “millions of fungus species around the world.”  She then goes on to describe just a few:  the Bolete, the Chanterelle, the Morel, the Polypore, the False Morel, the Lactarius Indigo, the Puffball, the Coral Mushroom, the Fly Agaric, the Dog Stinkhorn and the Destroying Angel.  She supplies just some of the beautifully poetic names that mushrooms have.  I’ve always been entranced at the huge variety of mushrooms I see on my walks and this book makes me want to jump up and go look for them (unfortunately we still seem to be having winter weather here in New Hampshire).  The illustrations of the mushrooms are wonderful; there is much color, black type on white pages and often some very large words like MUSHROOM FACTS.  Do NOT miss this book.

Anything you did not like about this book? Not a thing!

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a great book for a parent to share with a child to get them interested in mushrooms and likewise for a teacher to use in the classroom.

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes, even if you are not that interested in mushrooms!

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