Co-published by Scale Free Network and CSIRO Publishing, the award-winning Small Friends Books series combines cutting-edge scientific research, rich narrative and beautiful illustrations to tell stories that describe symbiotic partnerships between microbes and larger life forms. Each book re-imagines the world from a microbial point of view, to engage and educate children and adults alike.

Microbes make up 99% of life on Earth, playing a vital role in the health of all living entities and ecosystems – and yet no stories or education resources exist to help explain this. Small Friends Books tell positive stories about our smallest and oft misunderstood friends.

Each book is created collaboratively by a core team comprising writer Ailsa Wild, visual ecologist Aviva Reed, art director/publisher Briony Barr, and science director/publisher Dr Gregory Crocetti, in consultation with legendary microbial ecologist Professor Linda Blackall.

The Small Friends Books series is supported by the Australian Society for Microbiology.

I read your first book The Squid the Vibrio & the Moon to my four-year-old grandson and he was absolutely riveted. As soon as I finished, he demanded that I read it again. He was swept up by the story, the incredible characters in it and wonders of the relationships that have evolved. I look forward to the series to come.

— David Suzuki (Scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster)

When I read Zobi and the Zoox I felt like I was a Rhizobia bacterium making ammonia to help Darian build the reef. It was like I was floating around in the hot water of the reef seeing all the bleached coral. I also think that even though the Zoox, Zobi and even Darian are all quite small they mean a lot to the world, I also love the pictures.
— Kieran, age 11

The Squid, the Vibrio and the Moon charmed me, educated me and astounded me, and if anything I’m even more charmed, educated and astounded by Zobi and the Zoox. It’s tense, gripping and enthralling – not only for children but for all ages…one of the most original and exciting book projects for children that I’ve seen for a long time.

— Jane Sullivan, author and literary critic – The Age newspaper