Mike O’Rhiza: Earth’s Best Friend


Written by Dr. Michael Amaranthus and illustrated by Linda Woodrow-Gray, "Mike O'Rhiza: Earth's Best Friend" is designed to introduce children of all ages to mycorrhiza - or "Mike O'Rhiza" - and the life-supporting role mycorrhizal fungi play in ecosystems on our planet.

Having been around for hundreds of millions of years, the friendly fungus "Mike O'Rhiza" - or as scientists call him, mycorrhiza - wears many hats to help make the world a better place. Expanding for miles with his crazy hair (fungal filaments) to connect the roots of many plants, trees, and other lifeforms, whole ecosystems are fruitful and able to flourish because of Mike O'Rhiza.

Receiving the highest honors for scientific achievement during his 20 years of contributions as a USDA research scientist, authoring and co-authoring more than 100 scientific papers, Dr. Mike Amaranthus is a retired research soil scientist and Associate Adjunct Professor at Oregon State University.

Written for children of all ages, this book brings to life the integral role mycorrhizal fungi play in ecosystems that support all life on Earth.

“This amazing book is for young, aspiring fun-gals and fun-guys. Mike O’Rhiza introduces the many benefits to the ecosystem that fungi provide. I highly recommend this book for your youngsters and you, the young at heart.” – Paul Stamets

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