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The Fantastic Body: What Makes You Tick & How You Get Sick

Review

The Fantastic Body: What Makes You Tick & How You Get Sick

The first thing to note about THE FANTASTIC BODY by Dr. Howard Bennett is the cover. Its diagram of the internal organs, bones, muscles and tissue of a young boy, along with the brains, neurons, bones and eyeballs floating in the background, is sure to entice any young reader. The lime green spine of the book, which includes the cross-section from the front cover, ensures that this title pops no matter which angle it is viewed from. These illustrations, as well as photographs, continue throughout the pages of the book. There are depictions of the terms and procedures being described in the text on every page; rather than overwhelm the reader, they serve to enhance the content and the reader’s understanding of it by showing exactly what the body part, disease, treatment, etc. looks like. This combination of text and visual aid makes this book useful to many types of learners.

"Whether a child is simply seeking facts about the body or looking for sometimes-repulsive trivia, this book is an excellent choice."

Dr. Howard Bennett is a pediatrician, which provides credibility to the information presented in THE FANTASTIC BODY. Despite his work as a medical professional, Dr. Bennett makes it clear that this book is meant for reference only and should not be used to diagnose or treat illnesses in place of visiting a doctor. However, the book does include information on how various ailments are treated and how to prevent them in the first place. In addition, definitions of body parts --- from skin and hair all the way down to the bones in the toes --- are provided, along with where these parts are located, how large or small they are and their function within the body. This information can be found in convenient boxes at the top of the page and is followed by more in-depth detail, including how to pronounce words that may be new to kids. There is just enough information to teach children what they need to know about each body part without overwhelming or boring them.

The parts and chapters are broken down based on the section of the body being discussed and are given clever titles such as “Heads Up” and “The Eyes Have It.” Each chapter contains sections titled “Fact or Fib,” “Ewww, It’s True,” “Dr. B’s Tips,” and “Vocab Lab.” These side boxes contain bite-sized tidbits of information and memorable facts, like the African technique of using spider ants as stitches. This trivia serves to make what could otherwise be a rather boring subject much more enticing. There are also small activities that children can do on their own in sections titled “Try This!” This interactivity allows children to be active learners and will help them retain the information contained in each section.

Overall, whether a child is simply seeking facts about the body or looking for sometimes-repulsive trivia, this book is an excellent choice. It discusses how incredible the human body is and what makes it tick, while at the same time appealing to those with an interest in boogers and farts. The photographs, illustrations and text appeal to a wide range of readers, the information is reliable and presented in an interesting way and the author provides hands-on learning activities for children to do on their own.

Reviewed by Kat Baumgartner on January 30, 2018

The Fantastic Body: What Makes You Tick & How You Get Sick
by Howard Bennett

  • Publication Date: November 7, 2017
  • Genres: Children's, Children's 8-12, Science
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Kids
  • ISBN-10: 1623368898
  • ISBN-13: 9781623368890