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By author: Alexandra Siy   Illustrated by: Dennis Kunkel
Product Code: 
Binding Information: Hardback 
7  - 10
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Grade Lowest: 
In Stock
Price: $16.95
There's something in the air-pollen, dust mites, mold spores, dust, goose down, cat hair, pepper, flu viruses, and bright light-that's causing these nine kids to sneeze. Vivid, full color micrographs show the pesky allergens and irritants that cause the sneeze reflex, while simple scientific text explains how the impulse to sneeze is created inside the body. Glossary and other resources included.

Did you know?
  • The purpose of a sneeze is to dislodge and remove foreign particles from the nose and throat. During a sneeze, air travels at 100 miles per hour, spewing germs from the nose and mouth in a wet spray that can radiate five feet. So please cover your nose and your mouth when you sneeze, and don't forget to wash your hands!

  • Over the centuries and throughout the world, sneezing has been associated with superstition. Nursery rhymes instructed how sneezes brought both good luck and bad, and many cultures thought that sneezing forced evil spirits out of the body.

  • Babies, young childre, and animals sneeze through their nose, while adults usually sneeze through their mouths.

  • Pinching the nose on the brink of a sneeze can occasionally relieve nasal irritation enough to stop a sneeze reflex.

  • If you like this book, you'll like:
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  • Also Available As:
    Binding Information: Paperback 
    ISBN: 978-1-57091-654-0
    Availability: In Stock
    Price: $7.95

  • A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book
  • American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award
  • Bookbuilders of Boston New England Book Show Winner
  • New York Public Library's Children's Books, 2007
  • NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12

  • Reviews
      Kathy Baxter - May 29, 2007
    I am in love with SNEEZE! What a great kid grabber. I will be talking it up all over the country. Great photos, fascinating information.
      Kirkus Reviews, starred review - June 15, 2007
    With an opening likely to leave hypochondriacs in a state of blind panic, Siy and Kunkel return to introduce no fewer than nine children about to sneeze, each from a different cause, before going on to trace the reflex's complex neuron-muscular pathways. Kunkel's typically riveting micrographs zoom in on pollen grains, a single piece of ground pepper, a dust mite floating in a clout of skin flakes and fecal pellets, mildew, a clot of house dust, cat dander, viruses and other sneeze-inducers - all beautifully colorized (properly so noted) and carefully labeled. Capped with a gathering of extra facts, stills from Thomas Edison's first moving picture (guess its title) and a list of resources, mostly from the web, this offering has it all - from explosive humor and drama to fascinating pictures, precise and clearly presented information, useful backmatter and a topic that touches on a universal experience.
      Booklist - July 1, 2007
    Black-and-white photos show children caught in sudden spraying action, but the science in this handsome book about sneezing is for older readers, including high-school students. Kunkel's big, clear, beautiful color electron micrographs on every double-page spread show everything from dust mites, mildew, and pollen to the influenza. A virus. A long note explains how the pictures are taken, colored, and then magnified from four-hundred to one-quarter million times. The chatty text is mainly focused on allergies, with one spread about flu (no mention, though, of the common cold); and dramatic anatomical detail shows what happens between the nose's prickly, twitchy itch, the neuron's messages, and the final violent explosion. End matter includes annotated Web sites, a detailed glossary, and more fascinating facts about the science and folklore of sneezing, including the origin of saying "God bless you!" after a person sneezes.
      A Year of Reading - July 15, 2007
    I just received a copy of this great new nonfiction book--SNEEZE!--from Charlesbridge Publishers. What a great book! I am pretty sure it will be a favorite in my class once school begins.

    The topic alone is always interesting to kids. And the book is really informative. I learned so much that I didn't know before.

    Every spread begins with a black and white photo of a child. Sometimes that child is sneezing. If not, there is definitely a potential for a sneeze in the scene(a cat, for instance). The second page in the spread uses great colorful "micrographs"--a new term for me that is explained at the end of the book. Micrographs are taken with either a scanning electronic microscope or a transmission electronic microscope. The images are magnified and very interesting to look at.

    The back of the book also has some additional information on sneezes. Lots of info about sneezes and the body, told in a very kid-friendly way make this a great book to add to my nonfiction library. As I've said earlier, I am looking for nonfiction books that invite kids to read them from cover to cover. So many of the books that I have in my classroom have lots and lots of information spread out across the page. I feel like many of these books invite browsing and skimming. So, I am very excited about SNEEZE! The topic, photos, and format make it perfect for kids in middle elementary grades. And it is available in paperback!
      Janet A. Ginsberg - August 1, 2007
    What is there not to like about electron micrographs? The wonder of seeing the infinitismal never gets old -- which is why I think it is completely unfair that books such as the nose-tickling Sneeze! are found typically only in the Children’s section. Grown-ups sneeze, too…

    Sneeze! takes a close look – a very, very close look -- at the mechanics of sneezing, starting with the usual-suspect triggers (pollen, mold, virus, dust mites, etc.), then moving on to the speedy firing of neurons, the orderly contraction of muscles, and the spectacularly explosive finale. Remarkably, all sneezes happen in precisely the same way, no matter what the cause.

    The story follows the sneezy fates of 9 children who come in contact with a variety of histamine-triggering allergens and physical irritants -- micrographs of which accompany each spread. The pictures are gorgeous. Pollen grains -- smooth, spiky, round or oblong -- manage to hold their enigma, while a dust mite grown mighty appears both unlikely and frighteningly efficient. Even mold takes on a certain alien beauty.

    Seen way up close, goose down looks like bamboo, while a strand of cat hair resembles the trunk of a palm tree. A virus, however, has no counterpart in our visible world. Even in the realm of the microbial, viruses are in an itsy-bitsy class of their own. The micrograph of the Influenza A virus boasts a magnification of 220,000x, compared to a mere 405x for the grain of pepper -- which still appears at least 20x bigger.

    Sneeze! includes a back section full of factoids (ever wonder why you never sneeze in your sleep?), as well as information on micrographs, and a list of web resources, including a link to Edison’s very first movie, a achoo-classic on, yes, a sneeze...
      School Library Journal, starred review - September 1, 2007
    The first part of this book gives nine reasons for sneezes. A spread is devoted to each one, complete with a black-and-white photograph of an irritated nose or two, paired with a color enlargement of the microscopic component that causes the particular sneeze. Lily’s got pollen in her nose; she’s shown mid-sneeze. Pollen grains are shown magnified 1,525 times. Other pests include ground pepper, dust mites, mildew, dust, and the flu virus. The large, white text on a black background, while giving a picture-book look, is actually packed with a lot of information. Readers will learn that even bright sunshine can make one’s nose get all itchy and twitchy. The text is chatty and inviting. Children are pictured sniffling through their particular sneeze-inducing dilemmas. One section delves into what goes into the making of a sneeze: “A sneeze is a reflex….” A “More About Sneezing” section is quite interesting. For example, people don’t sneeze while they’re sleeping, and some people sneeze while they pluck their eyebrows. This is a unique selection, good for reports and for browsers.
      NSTA Recommends - September 14, 2007
    Do you ever sneeze in the morning sunshine? Then you'll enjoy this lively, charming, beautifully-designed and illustrated book, which gives us "nine sneezes for nine reasons." Written at a middle-school level, it will be of interest to a wide range of ages, from third-graders who will be able to read the titles, to adults, who all will learn something new.

    The simple but surprisingly sophisticated scientific explanations of why (and how) people sneeze are supported by black-and-white photographs of children caught in mid-sneeze and wonderful, full-page, colorized electron microphotographs displayed on a striking black background. Elements of each micrograph are labeled, and the magnifications are indicated, ranging from an image of a grain of pepper (x405) to a flu virus (x222,200). There is even the very first photograph of a (simulated) sneeze taken by Thomas Edison in 1888.

    The first half of the book is about the many stimuli that induce sneezing, and this is followed by an explanation of how the nerves and muscles work to produce the explosive outburst of a sneeze. There is also a section on fascinating sneeze lore, reminding us to cover our noses and mouths when sneezing—and to wash our hands afterward. Finally, there is a page explaining how the micrographs are produced, a list of resources, and an excellent glossary.

    Teachers will find this book to be a natural kick-off to a health unit or useful as an introduction to a study of neurons. Elementary teachers will want to read part of it to students, giving the youngsters plenty of time to ask questions. Students will want to revisit Sneeze! again and again, to enjoy pictures of children like themselves (oh-oh a pillow fight!). It may stimulate an interest in microphotography or interest students in how electrical impulses travel along nerves. Among the very best of science books for kids, this book is nothing to sneeze at!
    Nine irritated noses spring into explosive action in this introduction to the science of sneezing. Siy sets up each sneeze with a black-and-white photograph of the victim (or is it more properly the perpetrator?) and a description of the culprit: e.g., the girl sniffing fresh hay in the stable has an allergy to pollen; the child reading in a cushiony armchair is surrounded by dust mites and their fecal pellets; the boys pillow fighting are tickled by the jagged barbs of goose down. On the page facing each description is a Kunkel electron micrograph of the irritant, dyed to appear at its luridly glamorous best against a glossy black background, and nearly guaranteed to provoke strong reader reaction to the suggestion that stuff such as this makes its way up the schnozz. After examining the possible irritants, both physical and chemical, Siy turns to the interplay of nervous and muscular systems that work in tandem to produce the actual sneeze, and then wraps up with several pages of fascinating back matter on sneeze miscellanea, Edison's early film of a staged sneeze, information on the micrographs and their coloration, a glossary, and an annotated list of kid-friendly related resources on the Web.
      The Horn Book - November 1, 2007
    Siy and Kunkel illustrate the many reasons for sneezing with a combination of black-and-white photographs of children and amazing false-color micrographs. The book is split roughly in half in coverage, the first half concerned with the things that make us sneeze-illness, irritants, even bright light-and the second half with the microscopic human body parts responsible for the automatic sneeze reflex. This combination elevates the scientific discussion, providing detailed explanations of the complex mechanisms involved in sneezing. The micrographs are the star here, reproduced in vibrant colors on black backgrounds (as opposed to the photographs of children on the facing pages, which tend to be grainy and much smaller than the micrographs). Close-ups of such wondrous items as dander on a cat hair, the nerves responsible for sensing irritants, and different grains of pollen are sharply rendered in high-contrast colors to reveal the minutest details. A list of resources and a glossary are appended.
      Library Media Connection - January 1, 2008
    Achoo! What causes a sneeze? What parts of the body make up a sneeze? How does the body know the sneeze? These questions and more can be answered in this book. Each two-page spread has a b&w photo of a child in a sneezing situation, text to describe what is happeing, and an electron micrograph image created by an electron microscope. These images, colored with bright fluorescent colors, contain magnified images of muscles, cells, dendrites, and more. These striking images will immediately draw the students in, making them want to learn more. Students will be amazed and engaged in the topic as they look at these visuals. They will learn from the detailed but readable text of how a sneeze happens--taking them from the nose to the brain to the muscles. The authors have done an amazing job of breaking a simple sneeze down into each component to show all the different parts of the body that have to work together. The combination glossary and index in the back of the book explains the terms used, and the last page provides additional resources.
    Connecting the science of a sneeze with the different things in nature that make this happen, this book uses remarkable micrograph pictures to tell the story from both the macro and microscopic world. Great physiology, readability, and illustrations combine for excellence for multiple age levels. Micrographs relate scale of pictures. Additional Content, About Micrographs, Resources, Glossary.
      School Library Journal Curriculum Connections - April 1, 2008
    The reasons for and the anatomy of a sneeze are discussed in this accessible book that brings science into the context of everyday life. Super-magnified color photos of dust mites, cat hair, mildew, and sneeze-inducing agents contrast with the black-and-white photography of children at home and play, which feature captions with simple explanations about bodily reactions to the irritants. A terrific introduction to practical biology.
      The New York Times Book Review - April 13, 2008
    What's in a sneeze? Dust mites, dander, pollen--all magnified here up to 222,220 times. A regular old sneeze, set off by microscopic particles, turns out to be more fascinating than you think. Just in time for allergy season.
      Rainbo Electronic Reviews - September 1, 2007
    Why do we sneeze? This book gives youngsters a microscopic look at the beasties that cause us to sneeze when we breathe them in. Everything from dust mites to cat dander is put under the microscope in this educational paperbound book. Straight to the point, and clearly best suited for children old enough to appreciate the science involved without any of the giggles from snot jokes that we see so often in books for younger children.
      Librarians' Choices 2007 - May 1, 2008
    Ah&mdshah&mdashAchoo! From the first tickle of the nose to the mighty explosion of the sneeze, Siy describes in excruciating detail what happens all along the way. The labeled microphotography keeps the reader engaged with the complexity of the subject. Siy alternates between simple almost lyrical text to capture a younger audience, to explicit scientific explanations of each action taken by the body during a sneeze. The first part describes and illustrates nine possible scenarios of coming in contact with irritants&mdasheither physical or allergen and the corresponding micropgraph with a fact about the specific irritant. The second half starts by defining a sneeze.
    This book made it into the 'World's Grossest Booklist', and a wide range of ages will be intrigued by the treatment of this topic with the contrasting black background setting off both text and pictures.
      BioScience - October 1, 2008
    Sneeze, written by Alexandra Siy and illustrated by her former collaborator, Dennis Kunkel, is a delightful book that first examines items that trigger sneezes and then explains the neurological and physiological mechanisms of the body that produce a sneeze. This book is a fascinating read with lots of visual appeal. Kunkel cleverly captures the why's and how's of sneezing, as Siy beautifully conveys the biology behind the behavior. This visually stimulating volume with its interesting subject matter would appeal to most children.