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Children's Nonfiction Biology


The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read about Genes and Cloning

by (author) Cynthia Pratt Nicolson

illustrated by Rose Cowles

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2001
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2001
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2001
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 14
  • Grade: 4 to 9


The Mysterious You series explores the mysteries of the human body using an exciting mix of thoroughly researched factual information, amazing anecdotes and surprising try-it activities.

In Baa!, kids unravel the mysteries of genes and see how traits like dimples and hair colour are passed down through their family tree. They can then explore the secrets of cloning --- what it is and what changes it may bring in the future.

Kids can learn about • natural selection • genetic mutations • DNA and forensics • gene mapping • cloning in nature and in the lab • future predictions

With simple language and kid-friendly examples, Baa! helps demystify an intriguing, but often difficult-to-grasp, subject in a way that kids can understand.

About the authors

Cynthia Pratt Nicolson is a teacher and an award-winning children’s author who has written several non-fiction books, including The Stars and The Planets. She lives on Bowen Island, British Columbia.

Cynthia Pratt Nicolson's profile page

Rose Cowles is the illustrator of the award-winning Puppies on Board. She has a big black dog named Rosie. She loves animals and can paint eleven puppies and a dog over and over again so that you can recognize them on every page. "I love painting," she says. "It keeps me happy and that's the best gift I can give to my kids." It's a pretty good gift for everyone else as well! Rose also illustrated The F Team for Orca. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Rose Cowles' profile page


  • Winner, Our Choice, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Winner, Informal Education Product of the Year Award, Museum Tour

Editorial Reviews

Nicolson does maintain a steady balance between breadth and depth in this primer on genetic mechanisms and issues. Sidebars offer instructions for very basic demonstrations of each topic. In addition, she expertly sets the stage for upcoming developments in the already-begun genetic revolution.

Kirkus Reviews

Like other books in this series (Burp! and Hmm?), this one offers a barrage of information for the curious, presented in an eye-catching way.

The Globe and Mail

Nicolson has a knack for finding interesting details and sidelight that illustrate the main points without dry explication. Her explanations of scientific concepts are brief, but surprisingly clear. Though sometimes comical or downright goofy, Cowles' paintings have a lively, informal air that helps make the subject of genetics more accessible to young people.


Baa! is as enjoyable to read through in a sitting as it is useful as a reference for kids needing up-to-date background on a timely, exciting subject.

Quill & Quire

Other titles by Cynthia Pratt Nicolson

Other titles by Rose Cowles