Monday 30 November 2020

Kay's Anatomy

 Kay’s Anatomy by Adam Kay, illustrated by Henry Paker (Puffin) PB RRP $29.99 ISBN 9780241452943

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

This 405-page book is ideal for the young reader 8+ years who is interested in learning about their body, ‘an incredible machine that’s been perfected over the last seven million years, give or take a few days.’ Former doctor Kay uses a humorous conversational style to guide the reader with interesting facts such as the heart pumps enough blood around your body every day to filly ninety baths, and your lungs puff out enough air to blow up a thousand balloons. Other information he imparts is gluteus maximus (your bum) is the largest muscle in the body, you spend about a year of your lifetime on the toilet and bogeys are okay to eat.

The contents section of the book covers all the major body systems from the skin to the gut and beyond, also offering sections on reproduction, life and death, and germs. As well as covering the usual, Kay answers questions such as ‘Why can’t we tickle ourselves?’ and ‘Why does your skin get wrinkly in the bath?’ in break-out boxes throughout the book. There’s also a running gag which features a maths’ teacher, and factual material, such as scientists have sent back-ups of human DNA into space, in case the earth is ever wiped out. Every page includes at least one amusing black and white cartoon illustration which adds to the book’s appeal. To guide the reader, a glossary and index are included at the end of the book.

To sum up: Kay’s Anatomy is comprehensive and easy to read. My review copy is going to a nephew, aged 12, whose ambition is to become a doctor. But any child curious about their body is sure to read and enjoy the book – and to learn much. Recommended.

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