How It Works:  Human Body by Amelia Hepworth,  illustrated by David Semple

How It Works:  Human Body by Amelia Hepworth,  illustrated by David Semple.  Tiger Tales, 2021.  9781680106978

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

Format: Board book, nonfiction

What did you like about the book? This is a fun and easy introduction to the human body, its outsides, insides, systems, and organs, suitable for children from toddlers through first or second grade. The book is sturdily constructed and has a cut-out of a small person on the cover.  Each subsequent page peels back another layer, revealing the organs and systems below.  The child is young and the sex is not identifed.  A cheerful Dr. Mouse serves as the reader’s guide through the book.

Each picture has key elements labeled – hair, skin, etc. for the outside; liver, heart, lung, etc, for the page on organs.  Dr. Mouse shares information about the care and function of these body parts, and there is often a fun question or activity for the reader to think about or do – “Did you know?  Muscles can learn!  If you practice doing something, your muscles will remember . . .”  “Now sit on the floor and wiggle your toes.”  

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Most of the people pictured are White.  There is one illustration of hands playing a piano that suggest a Black person.  More variety would have been better.  

To whom would you recommend this book? Recommended for children 8 and younger who are interested in learning the basics about their bodies.  Read-alikes include My Amazing Body by Martin and Sanders and Human Body Hidden World by Claude Delafosse

Who should buy this book? Daycares, elementary schools, public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Nonfiction Picture Books (612) or board books

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

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State:  Robin Shtulman, Athol Public Library, Athol, MA

Date of review:  December 15, 2021

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