DR. FAUCI – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Author: Kate Messner

Illustrator: Alexandra Bye

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Ages: 4-8

Format/Genre: biography

Themes: science, picture book biography, research, infectious disease, COVID 19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, scientist, curiosity, medicine


Anthony Fauci was always asking questions, wondering about the world. From the tropical fish in his bedroom aquarium… to the vast oceans of sea life, the blazing stars, and the spinning planets in the pictures of his encyclopedias. How did it all work? With a wide-open mind, Anthony searched for answers.


Before he was Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci was a curious boy in Brooklyn, delivering prescriptions from his father’s pharmacy on his blue Schwinn bicycle. His father and immigrant grandfather taught Anthony to ask questions, consider all the data, and never give up—and Anthony’s ability to stay curious and to communicate with people would serve him his entire life.

This engaging narrative, which draws from interviews the author did with Dr. Fauci himself, follows Anthony from his Brooklyn beginnings through medical school and his challenging role working with seven US presidents to tackle some of the biggest public health challenges of the past fifty years, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why I like this book:

This is a super comprehensive picture book biography of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the most crucial figures in the COVID-19 pandemic. Kate, Alexandra and their publishing team did an amazing job to get this book on the shelves so quickly while creating a diligently professional and appealing biography.

Most of the nations’ children will have seen Dr. Fauci on TV for the past couple of years, and this is great for budding young scientists and any curious kids. It is well written and engagingly told. Dr. Fauci was interviewed (via zoom , of course) for it and it’s well researched in every way. I think it is great for children to see living scientists in picture book STEM biographies.

There were many details I appreciated, from Faudi’s father making tasty Italian meals to the beautiful illustrations of Little Anthony’s fish tank and the big ocean outside.


Very informative backmatter rounds out Dr. Fauci’s story with a timeline, recommended reading, a full spread of facts about vaccines and how they work, and Dr. Fauci’s own tips for future scientists, as well as an Author’s Note and Acknowledgements, and photos of Dr. Facui and family members when he was younger.

“Dr. Fauci’s FIVE TIPS for Future Scientists” could be introduced in any science unit. Maybe kids could make posters of these illustrated with what intrigues them about the world like young Anthony.

  1. Keep an open mind.
  2. Don’t be afraid to fail.
  3. Get excited about discovery.
  4. Remember that science is self-correcting.
  5. Keep learning.

Simon and Schuster have created a teacher’s guide

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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4 Responses to DR. FAUCI – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Jilanne F Hoffmann says:

    I kind of think of Kate Messner as a writing machine, in a good way. She can research and write so quickly and with such competence, it’s impressive. Kudos to Kate and her editor and illustrator for getting the job done.

  2. Kate Messner is an amazing author. I have this one my ever growing TBR list. I think I have to move it up. Thanks Joanna.

  3. Oh, I really love this biography by Kate Messner about Dr. Fauci, learning about his childhood and where he is today at age 80! Kids will know his name. Love the science aspect and the video! What a great share!

  4. Yay for a biography about our country’s doctor. So glad Kate wrote it.

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