It Takes Guts: How Your Body Turns Food into Fuel (and Poop) by Dr. Jennifer Gardy, illustrations by Belle Wuthrich

It Takes Guts: How Your Body Turns Food into Fuel (and Poop) by Dr. Jennifer Gardy, illustrations by Belle Wuthrich. Greystone Kids, 2021. 9781771645010

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

What did you like about the book? I have a much better understanding of the journey my food takes through my body after reading this book. The factual information, written clearly and with humor matched by the amusing digital illustrations, does a great job of making the biology interesting even to a reader who tends towards fiction. There are memorable takeaways throughout the book, as one reads about food’s journey from the mouth (where digestion begins), to the the esophagus (with a fascinating aside about sword-swallowers), through the stomach (where I learned why we can always eat dessert, even when full), small and large intestines (with an explanation of the Bristol stool chart) and out through the rectum.

Illustrations on almost every page feature characters with diverse skin colors, as well as clever representations of bodily functions, such as the red-faced guy with a stop sign, denoting the soft palate that controls food and air being directed down the proper nasal passage. At 145 pages, including a table of contents, glossary and index, this is a great choice for non-fiction casual reading.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Practical information along with easy to understand science make it a good choice for grades 3-7 classrooms.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? 612.3

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near the top

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: October 3, 2021

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