Parents and teachers, turn nagging about hand washing, covering your cough, and other healthy practices into STEM learning moments with Pick, Spit & Scratch. Weird, disgusting science facts (a sneeze or cough can spray germs 25 feet through the air!) behind a range of bad habits, accompanied by hilarious illustrations, give kids the vivid answers they need to change their ways and tips that show them how—including step-by-step illustrated instructions on how to wash viruses and bacteria off your hands like an expert.
As any parent or teacher will attest, all kids have bad habits from, er, time to time. They pick their nose. They hold their pee. Or pee in pools. They pick their nose. They don’t brush their teeth. They pick their nose. But we seldom stop to think that there are science lessons in these habits.
Each spread in Pick, Spit & Scratch describes a specific bad habit, and provides multilayered reading opportunities in the form of incredible, revolting facts that ratchet up the gross factor. Bad habits are transformed into relatable concepts for kids; for example, we swallow up to a quart of snot a day—enough to fill a small milk carton.
In some cases, the author even debunks myths about bad habits by introducing counter-intuitive scientific research (boogers may actually have health benefits) or humorously turning the tables on adults (one study showed that most adults pick their noses, too).
Kids will love Pick, Spit & Scratch because it's gross. Parents will love it because it says, “I told you so.” Everyone will love the health benefits.
About the Author
Julia Garstecki is an experienced teacher and author of dozens of nonfiction books for children, including Science in a Jar; Pick, Spit & Scratch; Sniff, Lick & Scratch; and Burp, Spit & Fart. She has also written several parenting pieces for various magazines. Publications include Thrive, Westchester Parent, and Mothering in the Middle. Her humor column “How Did I Get Here” appeared in the Jamestown Gazette.
Julia completed her undergraduate work at Michigan State University, where she earned her degree in Elementary Education while minoring in both English and Biology. Her graduate degree focused on reading instruction and she later earned her certification for special education. She currently teaches writing at Goodwin College.
Chris Monroe is the author of seven children's picture books, including Monkey with a Tool Belt, Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Maniac Muffins, Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem, Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Seaside Shenanigans, Sneaky Sheep, and Bug on a Bike. Her Monkey with a Tool Belt books will be appearing as a Netflix series. Chris is the illustrator of Young Voyageur's Pick, Spit & Scratch, Sniff, Lick & Scratch, and Burp, Spit & Fart. Chris is also the illustrator of picture books by authors Kevin Kling, Jane Yolen, and Janice Levy. Her comic strip, “Violet Days,” was retired in 2018 after being in print for 22 years. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.