Through five stories, the work – which is aimed at boys and girls between 7 and 11 years old and reading mediators – seeks to raise awareness of the importance of microalgae in the fjords of Patagonia.

An ichthyosaur that keeps asking about life in the oceans. A microalgae called “Dino” that welcomes readers. A starfish that has a life diary where it keeps track of everything that happens beneath the surface. These are some of the characters that star in the book Microcuentos. Great stories of small organisms.

The work, which was financed by the Public Science program of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, was supported by the Center for Dynamic Research of High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL) of the Austral University of Chile (UACh) and the edition of Editorial Mis Raíces is available in digital and printed versions.

The stories were written by marine biologist Anita Flores and the illustrations were by artist Francisca Prieto. The initiative is aimed at boys and girls between 7 and 11 years old and reading mediators, and aims to raise awareness of the importance of microalgae as fundamental organisms in the socio-environmental dynamics of the Patagonian fjords.

The book also includes a booklet with complementary and explanatory material regarding the themes discussed in the stories. In this way, reading mediators will have different resources to explore various pedagogical perspectives in an interdisciplinary manner.

“This project adapts to the needs of each mediator. For example, an art teacher can approach it through illustrations, a science teacher through the experimental part, and a language teacher through stories,” explains Anita Flores. “From the point of view of how information is delivered, there are three categories of informative books: Scientific literacy, others that raise doubts, and those that are a mix between the two. We opted for the third alternative: The idea is to capture attention and, in the second instance, answer as many doubts as possible,” he adds.

“This book was illustrated digitally. The drawings were based on microscopic photographs of microorganisms,” explains Francisca Prieto and adds that “works of scientific illustration are becoming more and more important, because they are very effective in explaining biological and natural processes to children.”

Distribution and upcoming activities

The printed version of the book will be available starting in December and January in public libraries in the regions of Los Lagos, Aysén of General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, and Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica.

At the same time, a series of educational activities are contemplated with the aim of publicizing the book, which will begin with a school contest. Those who wish to purchase a copy can participate in a raffle through the Instagram account @microcuentosmarinos