Four double-foldout spreads literally extend this first gander at our body’s insides and outsides—to jumbo, if not quite life, size.
Labels, basic facts, and one-sentence comments surround full-length cartoon images of the skeleton, musculature, and major sections of the body on the foldouts. Selected parts from the brain on down to blood cells are covered on the leaves in between. Lacey dishes out explanations of major body systems and processes in resolutely nontechnical language: “When you eat, food goes on a long twisty journey, zigzagging through tubes and turning into a soupy mush for your body to use.” It’s lightly spiced with observations that, for instance, the “gluteus maximus” is the largest muscle or the spine is made up of “vertebrae.” So light is the once-over, however, that the lymphatic, renal, and most of the endocrine systems escape notice (kidneys, where are you?). Moreover, though printed on durable card stock, the foldouts make for unwieldy handling, and on some pages, images are so scattered that successive stages of various processes require numbering. Still, Web links on the publisher’s page will presumably help to cover the gaps (unavailable for review). An overview of human development from fertilization to adulthood precedes a closing flurry of height extremes and other “Amazing body facts” that provide proper closure for this elementary survey.
A broad, if hardly more than skin-deep, introduction to the topic. (Nonfiction. 6-8)