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Friday, August 31, 2012

Body Actions, written by Shelley Rotner and David A. White. Holiday House, Thomas Allen & Son. 2012. $19.95 ages 5 and up

"The human body is like an amazing machine with many parts that work together. Each part has a special job to do. Your bones protect and support your body. You have 206 bones in your body, and more than 50 in your hands. Your skull is made up of 22 bones that protect your brain and fit together like the pieces of a puzzle."

Children do so much in a day without even thinking about it. This book helps them consider the amazing things that happen in their bodies to allow such perpetual motion.

Almost immediately the authors create a double page spread that includes six overlapping images of the same boy, same position. Each new photo closes in on one of the six body systems...skeletal, muscular, circulatory, nervous, digestive and respiratory. The authors then go on to describe how each of the systems allow children to run, skip, jump, eat, read and any number of other actions that are part of a child's day.

The photos are filled with color and movement, with drawings overlaid to show that each system is at work, no matter what they do in their day. The text is uncomplicated, while explanatory. Readers will not be overwhelmed with information and will come away from the reading with better understanding of how these systems work together to create an exuberant, busy, intrigued-by-the-world wonder!

The five senses are touched on, as are skin and hair. At the end, the learning is summed up in short recaps of the points made earlier, and a glossary provides short definitions for fourteen key words. This is an excellent explanation for young readers of the body and its many wonders. It is accessible for their understanding and they will very much enjoy clear, bright photos of children doing just what they do every day!

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