Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A TOUR OF THE HUMAN BODY by Jennifer Berne


Amazing Numbers—Fantastic Facts

From the Number Tours for Curious Kids series

by Jennifer Berne ; illustrated by Dawn DeVries Sokol

Pub Date: May 7th, 2024
ISBN: 9781662670152
Publisher: Kane Press

From head to toe, Berne takes it by the numbers.

The author, who’s been a number lover since she was small, begins with a big one—30 trillion, the approximate number of cells in the human body—and proceeds to toss around more, from the 206 bones in an adult body to our 10-ounce hearts, which pump blood through 60,000 miles of veins, arteries, and capillaries. Though she skips over the reproductive and certain other body systems, in general her specific numbers and ballpark figures are credible. Many come with imaginative comparisons that make the larger ones at least somewhat easier to grasp, such as “1,500 pounds (lbs.) of food is like eating a medium-sized camel.” In loose, casual drawings and schematic views, Sokol helps out by unwinding intestines (25 feet) against the wall of a two-story house, stacking pennies representing cells in piles that reach the moon, and posting simplified but labeled images of lungs, a skeleton, an inner ear, and other anatomical bits. Before finishing off with additional, less number-centric facts about body parts and showing readers how to take personal measurements, Berne brings her selective tour of body systems to a close with a final, entirely comprehensible number: “We are 1 people, 1 species, 1 family” living on “1 home.” Racially diverse, fleshed-out human figures in the pictures drive home that sense of kinship.

Counts as a lively and unusual approach to the subject.

(author’s note, sources, resources) (Informational picture book. 6-9)