Accurate, informative, and surprisingly enjoyable.

BOY, WERE WE WRONG ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY!

From the Boy, Were We Wrong series

A picture-book history of human anatomy and physiology for a young age group—can anyone breathe life into this challenging concept?

Colorful cartoonlike illustrations combine with brief text to provide a history of misunderstandings of human anatomy and physiology that often served to misdirect medical care in the past. The refrain, “Boy, were they wrong!” concludes many spreads. Some of the themes explored: ancient Egyptians’ belief that the heart was the site of the personality; the commonly held misconception that many illnesses could be cured by bloodletting; acupuncture, which is later revealed as one of the “ancient ideas that work”; the idea that eyes produced light that captured images; and the belief that four types of humors filled the body and their imbalance was the source of illness. Each of these is described in a sentence or two and accompanied by a humorous, never-gory illustration, juxtaposed against a follow-on double-page spread that explains, very simply, the actual way the body works. The final few pages explore recent ideas and technologies, including information about DNA and a description of some unnamed imaging techniques. The fourth in the series, this clever entry is just as amusing and informative as the rest. A timeline that lists numerous highly significant medical advances, also—whimsically?—includes the 1921 invention of the Band-Aid.

Accurate, informative, and surprisingly enjoyable. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3792-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie’s projects always work well.

Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it’s a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She’s just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie’s collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray.

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Outstanding—a breath of fresh air, just like Rocket herself.

ROCKET SAYS LOOK UP!

Rocket is on a mission…to get her angst-y teen brother to put down his cellphone and look up.

An aspiring astronaut, Rocket makes it a point to set up her telescope and gaze at the stars every night before bedtime. Inspired by Mae Jemison, Rocket, a supercute black girl with braids and a coiffed Afro, hopes to be “the greatest astronaut, star catcher, and space walker who has ever lived.” As the night of the Phoenix meteor shower approaches, Rocket makes fliers inviting everyone in her neighborhood to see the cosmic event at the park. Over the course of her preparations, she shares information about space-shuttle missions, what causes a meteor shower, and when is the best time to see one. Jamal, Rocket’s insufferable older brother, who sports a high-top fade and a hoodie, is completely engrossed in his phone, even as just about everybody in the neighborhood turns up. The bright, digital illustrations are an exuberant celebration of both space and black culture that will simultaneously inspire and ground readers. That the main characters are unapologetically black is made plain through myriad details. Rocket’s mother is depicted cornrowing her daughter’s hair with a wide-toothed comb and hair oil. Gap-toothed Rocket, meanwhile, makes her enthusiasm for space clear in the orange jumpsuit both she and her cat wear—and even Jamal’s excited by the end.

Outstanding—a breath of fresh air, just like Rocket herself. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9442-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more