The Children’s Book Review | July 18, 2018
Written by Susan Akass and Frances Butcher
Age Range: 7+
Publisher: CICO Kidz (2016)
What to Expect: Science, Activities, Facts, Projects.
The best science books for kids not only inform, but also invite readers to explore and discover and learn for themselves. Blending complex facts with engaging activities, My First Book of My Body belies its uninspiring title by being packed to the brim with material that has been gauged precisely right for the target audience of older elementary school readers.
What struck me most about this book was the way in which the activities were designed to be not only fun and thought-provoking, but also to allow readers to learn processes through modelling and mimicry. The result is, to my mind, a learning process that takes place on a deeper and more complex level. A good example is the “How to Make Poop” experiment (74-77). Here students use ordinary household implements (a potato masher, water, tinned beans) to mimic the processes undertaken in the body as it breaks food down into waste: crush the food with teeth (mashing with a potato masher), for example, breaking the food down with stomach acid (vinegar), or squeezing the food in the intestines (a cut-up pair of pantyhose). Readers come away with a nuanced understanding of this important bodily process and a way of thinking about bodily functions that is both fun and mature. The book does not shy away from “embarrassing” technical terms such as “anus” (77), nor from difficult concepts such as “neurons” (121), providing readers with the terminology they need to discuss and explore the body as scientists. Overall, this is a read that is both fun and genuinely educational.
About the Authors
Susan Akass is the general editor of the ‘My First’ children’s series, published by CICO Kidz, as well as the author of My First Science Book and My First Bicycle Book. Susan has wide experience as an elementary school teacher in charge of science. She is based in Bath, UK.
Frances Butcher is a doctor undertaking speciality training in public health medicine. She is also a graduate student in global health science at the University of Oxford and lives in Oxford, UK.
My First Book of My Body, written by Susan Akass and Frances Butcher, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like My First Book of My Body by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Activity Books, Fact Books, Human Body Books, Non-Fiction, and Science.
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