What happens to food / once it’s been chewed.
There’s plenty of attention to chemical interactions and anatomical detail in these poems for all that they are cast in iambic couplets. They begin with the internal odyssey of a pizza slice, then go on to answer a number of pressing questions, from “Why Does Chili Make Me Sweat?” to “Why Does My Urine Come Out Yellow?” Breaking into prose for side comments and “Cool Facts” as she goes, Settel also covers such tasty topics as how laughing can make milk come out one’s nose, why garlic breath is so hard to get rid of, the ins and outs of farts and burps, the many uses of saliva, and the roles of various organs in digestion: “The liver’s bile is needed too, / as small intestines do not do / too well digesting fat without / a squirt of bile to help them out.” Björkman’s cartoons, all bright colors and loose, fluid lines, add a diversely hued cast of young folk exuberantly chowing down, throwing up, looking amazed or grossed out, and posing as models for labeled internal views. The bulky glossary and equally dense bibliography piled up at the end aim high; younger readers may find the five-item list of online animations and videos more palatable.
From plate to poop, / the inside scoop. What’s not to love? (index) (Informational poetry. 6-10)