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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Body Works, written by Liza Fromer and Dr. Francine Gerstein and illustrated by Joe Weissman. Tundra, 2011. $14.99 ages 5-9

"The most commonly sprained              
parts of the body are the ankles,
knees, and wrists."
"The speed of a sneeze is over
 90 miles (145 kilometers) per hour."

"To quiet down a noisy stomach, try
eating several small meals throughout
the day instead of a few large ones."

"Fingernails take three to six months
to regrow completely, but toenails
can take twelve to eighteen months."
I think that young readers will find this series informative, and also humorous. The format for each is a match, starting with a page citing the other books in the series, and followed by an author's note. That note suggests that the information provided will help the child understand the body and why it works as it does. It also suggests a yearly visit to the doctor, and an immediate trip if something seems amiss.

The next two pages offer an introduction to the focus 'body' of each new title. In the achy body body, the authors talk about bruises, scrapes, scabs, broken bones, sprains and strains, stomach aches, earaches and sore throats. Each of the aches is accompanied by humorous cartoon art that helps to give a clear picture for the information being shared. As well, there is a 'true or false' question, and a 'doctor says' suggestion. Some of them are funny. My favorite is this one:

"True or false?
The world's largest scab collection belongs to Steve 'Crusty' Smith from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
(False. Collecting scabs is totally gross!)"

My 'messy' body is tears, sweat, earwax, snot, pee, poo, vomit, and pus. It's sure to be a favorite.

My 'noisy' body is voice, burps, hiccups, stomach growls. farts, sneezes, coughs, and the stethoscope that hears all those noises. OK, this might be the most popular!

Finally, my 'stretchy' book is growth, inside vs outside, hair, skin, nails, growing muscles, growing bones and finally, growing teeth.

A glossary is included with each which will help readers find their way back to their favorite pages. Written by a broadcast journalist and a family doctor, these books will add to the knowledge base of those children who have questions about how the body works. The artwork adds a playful tone. The series is sure to be a hit for its target audience.

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