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Two Human Body Books for Two Age Groups

The Children’s Book Review | February 23, 2017

The Magic School Bus Presents- The Human BodyThe Magic School Bus Presents: The Human Body

Written by Dan Green

Illustrated by Carolyn Bracken

Age Range: 6-9

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (2014)

ISBN: 978-0-545-68364-7

What to expect: Anatomy, Body, Biology, Health, Nonfiction, Science

The Magic School Bus Presents: The Human Body introduces the immense topic of human anatomy to children with ease, style, and fun.

There are multiple ways to organize an anatomy book: by structure, by function, even alphabetically. One look at the table of contents in The Magic School Bus Presents: The Human Body reveals a clear and logical progression of subjects; after a quick introduction to the cell, the reader is taken on an outside-to-inside and top-to-bottom tour of the body. Each section (“Skin, Hair, and Nails”, for example) is two pages long and describes the appropriate body parts in only two short paragraphs. Small, bite-sized pieces of information make up the rest of the text on each page. (One of these helpful nuggets answers the age-old question, “if I swallow gum, will it end up in my belly forever?”.) Familiar Magic School Bus cartoons accompany full-color photographs and detailed diagrams on every page, creating a visually appealing trip through the body. Notably absent is any mention of the reproductive system. Notably (and commendably) present are the final chapters of the book, which include “Taking Care of Your Body” (information on nutrition and sleep), “Incredible Body Facts” (did you know that the human thigh bone is stronger than concrete?), and “Body Experts” (an overview of healthcare professions); these chapters help tie basic science concepts to real-life applications. A short but useful glossary ends the book.

The Magic School Bus Presents: The Human Body is a nonfiction partner to the original book, The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body (1990). However, there is no need to track down Inside the Human Body. As a stand-alone book, The Magic School Bus Presents: The Human Body distills a complicated subject down to an approachable topic without being condescendingly simple or precious. Highly recommended for curious kids.

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Scholastic Discover More- Human BodyScholastic Discover More: Human Body

Written by Steve Setford

Illustrated by multiple contributors

Age Range: 9-13

Paperback: 112 pages

Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (2014)

ISBN: 978-0-545-66776-0

What to expect: Anatomy, Body, Biology, Health, Nonfiction, Medical Technology, Science

Human Body gives the advanced reader a detailed and visually stunning introduction to anatomy. The book is divided into six 10-20 page sections (“Your amazing body”, “On the move”, “Skin you’re in”, “Body engines”, “Fuel for the body”, “In control”); each section begins with three major questions to focus the reader. Every page typically has one or two main paragraphs of information along with multiple, 1-2 sentence-long facts positioned strategically around full-color photographs, drawings, and diagrams. The visual and textual information on each page is dense, making Human Body an appropriate choice for an older (and less distractible) reader. Notably absent is a section devoted to the reproductive system (or, really, any mention of this system at all). Notably (and commendably) present are multiple mentions of medical technology and its uses in visualizing the body as well as an impressively strong introduction to DNA and inheritance. Readers will appreciate the many close-up photographs of anatomical structures (courtesy of electron microscopy). The book ends with a clever timeline of child development from birth to teenager and a thorough glossary.

Human Body is a rich treasure trove of information for interested and advanced readers; it is nearly impossible to not learn something new on every page of this impressive book. (For instance, did you know that, in your whole life, you’ll get about 1,000 new “suits” of skin? Did you know that your heart can pump enough blood in its lifetime to fill 90 Olympic-sized swimming pools?) Highly recommended for any family library.

Available Here: 

Two Human Body Books for Two Age Groups were reviewed by Kelley Smith. Follow along with our articles and reviews tagged with    and , to discover more great titles just like these ones.

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Kelley Smith is a former high school science teacher and a current stay-at-home mom. She fell in love with books many decades ago, after reading her first chapter book (Ramona the Pest) with no adult assistance. Kelley loves reading to her two children and sometimes, her three pets listen, too.

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