child washing hands

17 Icky Kids' Books about Germs

 sick simon

Sick Simon

A valuable picture book about a little boy who refuses to let a little cold get in the way of his fun. Simon proceeds to cough, sneeze, and sniffle his way around without any regard for other people. A colony of germs hail him as their hero as he continues to spread them to his friends, family and everyone else he encounters.  Find out if Simon learns an important lessons about keeping germs at bay. Plenty of humor inserted into this story that teaches the importance of hand-washing and hygiene.

kids washing hands


Picture Books about Germs Teach Kids Good Hygiene

Teaching preschoolers and young children to wash their hands can be a chore! Especially because they often need assistance to get the job done right. But instilling the importance of hand-washing at an early age can pay off in the long run. Any time a child avoids picking up a germ is a win for teachers and parents alike.

Preschool and kindergarten teachers witness firsthand the lack of good hygiene amongst their students on a daily basis. Kids sneeze without covering their faces. They cough all over their classmates. Runny noses go left unnoticed or wiped on a shirtsleeve at best. Children touch every surface within reach and then proceed to touch their faces. Reading children's books about germs can help remind little ones of the importance of good hygiene. Also, read toddler stories about potty training to cover all the steps kids need to complete, including hand washing, before leaving the bathroom.

No matter how often we lecture our children about protecting themselves and others from germs, our words oftentimes fall on deaf ears. Truly one of the best ways to reinforce the importance of not spreading our germs among kids is through reading stories. 


 do not lick this book

Do Not Lick This Book

This is a fantastic book that brings to life germs in a way that makes them very real, tangible, dangerous creatures. Min is a personified microbe eager and ready to go on a big adventure and explore new surroundings. She is so tiny that you have to look through a microscope to see her, but that certainly does not prevent her from going on a journey! A highly interactive, funny, entertaining, and educational book about the importance of hand washing, not touching every public surface (even if it looks clean!) and in general keeping germs at a distance.



 germs make me sick 

Germs Make Me Sick!

A scientifically oriented children's picture book about harmful germs, specifically viruses and bacteria. This is a non-fiction account of the way germs can penetrate our bodies and cause us to feel sick. Adorable, humorous illustrations are paired with all kinds of important medical facts about the spread of pesky germs and what kids can do to protect themselves. A fantastic chart about the "rules for good health" is an added bonus in this award-winning book.



germs are not for sharing

Germs Are Not for Sharing

A simplistic, helpful book for preschoolers about all the things they can do to prevent the spread of germs. Easy-to-understand explanations and engaging pictures are effective at showing the youngest of readers how easily germs pass from person to person. All the basic, but important, things are covered, such as washing hands, covering sneezes, and avoiding hugs & kisses when sick.



 curious george discovers germs

Curious George Discovers Germs

Curious George has been teaching generations of kids all kinds of important lessons. This fun book about germs is one to add to your reading list. Our favorite monkey is feeling under the weather, so he is tucked into bed. He drifts into a deep sleep and experiences a dream full of all kinds of facts about germs! He learns about how they invade his body, and more importantly, everything he can do to avoid them in the future. 




 cutie sue fights the germs 

Cutie Sue Fights the Germs

Cutie Sue and her brother are suffering from uncomfortable tummy aches. So off to the doctor they go to find out how to treat their ailment. In this cute book, the siblings learn all about how healthy habits and good hygiene will prevent germs from invading their bodies in the future. Short, sweet text suited for toddlers and preschoolers.



sherm the germ

Sherm the Germ

A hilarious board book about germs perfect for babies and toddlers. Written by a physician, a microbial appears- or rather, disrupts- playtime between children. He looks cute but he causes major havoc to little bodies. This story explains, in very basic language, what happens when you get sick and what you need to do to get better.



 germs vs soap 

Germs vs Soap

This is the best book to buy preschoolers who forget to wash their hands! In this cute story, we learn that soap is the enemy...of germs, that is. Frisky green germs actively try to prevent children from washing their hands because then they'll go right down the drain. Instead, they frolic around seeking out "cupcakes" on their little humans that will give them energy to multiply. Silly, playful and effective in encouraging children to wash up with warm soapy water.



 iris has a virus

Iris Has a Virus

Poor little Iris has caught a nasty bug that lands her in bed with a virus. She is worried about missing her grandfather's birthday party and her brother complains that she always "catches bugs" at the worst possible time. Iris is confused by the terminology... she certainly didn't see any bugs around! Her father explains that the term germ and bug are often intended to mean the same thing. Such a cute book about germs and how the terminology we use when talking about them can create confusion for children.



 germs facts and fiction friends and foes

Germs: Facts and Fiction, Friends and Foes

An absolutely fascinating book about the good and the bad germs that are part of our every day life. Told in first person by Sam the Salmonella, this interesting non-fiction, scientific germ book for children is packed with interesting facts.  We learn all the ways germs travel around the world, diseases that have had widespread implications from germs, and vaccinations that have been developed to combat these problems.



 the finger and the nose

The Finger and the Nose

A nose-picking child absolutely must be taught the perils of this disgusting habit. This behavior ranks as the #1 most germy, stomach-churning problem that parents and teachers face in toddlers, preschoolers and some wayward older children as well. Well, this funny may just be the solution. Sophie picks her nose round the clock no matter how often her parents scold her. Her nose grows enormous as a result. Turns out, her index finger, who is personified as Tim, has set up a fully furnished home inside her nose where he spends most of his time. This germ book for children is a fun, albeit icky, read aloud for story time.



 now wash your hands

Now Wash Your Hands!

A cute book about hand washing perfect for the preschool and kindergarten group. A cast of animals from Mrs. Moo's class is excited for a presentation from a special guest about personal hygiene.  If an octopus can wash all of his hands, it certainly can't be too much of a chore to soap up just two!



 i don't want to wash my hands

I Don't Want to Wash My Hands!

How many times must a little princess wash her hands each day? Tony Ross, a beloved and prolific children's books author/illustrator, captures the frustration of a spunky child who finds this task be exhausting! But when she learns that germs can still infiltrate her body despite the hand washing she did earlier in the day, the feisty princess finally realizes the importance of good hygiene.



 a germ's journey

A Germ's Journey

Germs are pesky little guys who have the ability to travel far and wide. This cartoonish story follows the journey of a germ from a sneeze to all kinds of new places and wreaking lots of havoc along the way. A great visualization for young children of the pervasiveness of germs and the importance of keeping them in check.



 noses are not for picking

Noses Are Not for Picking

No, they are not! They are for breathing, sniffing, and smelling, but most definitely not for picking. A germ book for toddlers will teach them to opt for tissues over their finger. This board book is a straightforward health concept book that does not beat around the bush.  Bright pictures and engaging text may be just the right formula to get your child to change his or her behavior.



  big smelly bear

The Big Smelly Bear

A silly bear is not so fond of baths. So much so that he has skipped quite a few and has developed quite the stench. In fact, the entire forest smells due to his lack of cleanliness. The bear doesn't mind so much until he begins to itch. A deep down itch that he can't seem to scratch and not a friend will get close enough to help. A funny book for little kids who complain about bath time and wonder why it is necessary.



 what are germs 

What Are Germs?

An interactive lift-the-flap book for kids in preschool through about first grade. This board book covers the topic of bacteria and how it multiplies and spreads. The importance of hand washing and good personal hygiene is then addressed. Interesting, informative and engaging book for the youngest of readers.


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hand washing


Helpful Children's Books About Washing Hands 

The more we arm our preschoolers and young children with information, the better off we are in keeping pesky germs from invading their bodies. Teaching kids to when to wash their hands- after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing their nose, and after playing-  is a good place to start. Children's stories about pooping, while packed with lots of potty humor, are also effective at encouraging little ones to wash up after using the restroom.

Also, while we like to reinforce sharing, kids need to keep their food and drink items to themselves to minimize the spread of germs. And lastly, if at all possible, avoid sending your child to school or playgroups when they are showing signs of illness.

Think about the domino effect your kiddo's runny nose has on the other children and their families. We all win in the end if we minimize the spread of germs. Reading children's books about washing hands will help reinforce this important habit. 


kids washing hands
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Picture Books About Eating Healthy

Funny Stories About Brushing Teeth

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