“How can you defeat the icky germs? Fight them off by washing and brushing your teeth.”
Interspersed with bright color photos of children wincing theatrically at the bad and smiling at the good, Kreisman’s chirpy guide offers easy-to-follow advice on hygienic practices. It also supplies general information on the causes of cavities, body odor and other consequences of neglecting them. Interjections (“Gross!”), lame side jokes and simplified language such as the substitution of “As you get older,” or “When you become a teenager…” for “puberty” keep the discourse from turning clinical. Despite this, the information is accurate (aside from one photo of a child apparently sticking a cotton swab into her ear that contradicts its caption’s warning not to) and not unduly alarmist about bacteria and dirt. A labeled graphic shows what lies beneath the “epidermis,” and readers will come away understanding that “private parts” means “genitals and anus.” A summary checklist at the end, along with a true/false quiz, provides a light dose of reinforcement.
An upbeat, serviceable introduction to the benefits of wearing clean clothes, changing bed sheets regularly, and caring for skin, nails and hair.
(glossary, index, print and Web resources)
A well-intentioned description of life before birth. The illustrations make use of photographs (including ultrasound) and artist’s drawings, often in the same image, and these are well used to clarify the text. How babies grow and develop inside the womb is both described and illustrated, and while the tone is one of forced cheer, the information is sound. Also offered are quite silly exercises for children to experience what life in the womb might be like, such as listening to a dishwasher to experience the sounds a baby hears inside its mother’s body, or being held under a towel or blanket by an adult and wiggling about. The getting-together of sperm and egg is lightly passed over, as is the actual process of birth. But children may be mesmerized by the drawings of the growing child inside the mother, and what activities predate their birth dates. Not an essential purchase, but adequate as an addition to the collection. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)