MY MESSY BODY by Liza Fromer


From the "Body Works" series
Age Range: 5 - 8
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An unusual anatomy book combines familiar children's terms for bodily functions—pee, poop, snot, etc.—with accurate, relatively simple explanations of their roles.

Using amusing, cartoon-y watercolor illustrations and a couple of paragraphs of text per page, the book provides correct terminology for the kid-familiar terms. It undercuts itself, however: Telling readers the proper word for snot is nasal mucus, the work then returns to using the colloquial term instead. This retreat into the vernacular feels gimmicky, since other complex words are freely employed, including esophagus, carbohydrate and bacteria. Many pages feature "Fun Facts," such as that newborn babies cry without tears and that lips lack sweat glands. Each spread has a brief piece of advice called "Doctor Says." The doctor advises readers not to pick their noses: "It looks gross, and you can spread germs by using that finger to touch objects other people are likely to use." At only 24 pages, this effort is brief in the extreme and fails to include any suggestions for further reading, a bibliography, an index or a table of contents, although it does have a glossary. Other books in the Body Works series cover pain, growth and bodily noises: My Achy Body, My Stretchy Body and My Noisy Body.

While it provides accurate information on topics that should appeal to curious school-age readers, this work's reliance on the limited shock value of colloquial terminology seems inappropriate for the intended audience. (Nonfiction. 5-8)


Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-77049-202-8
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2011


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