David Fickling Books is publishing a guide by neuroscientist and science writer Ben Martynoga to "de-mystify the coronavirus for readers of all ages".
The book, an "entertaining" and "essential" illustrated guide entitled The Virus, will publish in e-book and paperback in July 2020. According to DFB, the author "takes us on a fascinating, sometimes funny, and occasionally scary journey through the world of viruses, breaking down what they are, how they work, and—crucially—how humanity can overcome them".
It was originally scheduled for publication in late 2021, as part of a wider non-fiction launch, but has been pulled forward in order to deliver "a comprehensive, inspiring, science-first approach to understanding this phenomenon... as soon as possible".
It will be illustrated throughout by artist and cartoonist Moose Allain, whose work features regularly in Private Eye and The Literary Review.
An endorsement is to follow from Sir Paul Nurse, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist, former president of the Royal Society and director of the Francis Crick Institute, who is another of DFB's authors.
DFB will donate a percentage of all proceeds from The Virus to the Oxford University Support Coronavirus Research Fund.
The publisher's founder David Ficking said: "we have planned to base our non-fiction for younger readers firmly in high-quality science, believing that our children deserve the finest scientists in the world as well as the finest authors and illustrators. Everyone at DFB is immensely proud to be publishing a book right now that can help us all understand and beat the virus. I predict Ben Martynoga and Moose Allain will become household names to young readers."
Martynoga commented: "if the virus was a grain of sugar, your body would be as tall as Mount Everest. How can something so tiny bring the whole world to a standstill? This pandemic is confusing, complex and pretty scary. By explaining how the Covid-19 virus works and setting it within the wider context of the myriad viruses that affect all living things, I hope The Virus will help explain what we’re up against, and become a useful companion for young readers and adults alike."
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