Thursday, May 23, 2013

Awesomely Awesome Books (Book Review)

My immediate family includes an 8-year-old girl, a 10-year-old boy, my over-40 husband and me (okay I'm over 40 too). With this diversity of sex and age, what sort of books could possibly have us fighting over who gets to keep them?

To borrow my son's adjectives, these "awesomely awesome" books are DK's books on the human body. When they arrived in the mail the other day, I thought they were pretty darn cool. What I didn't expect was that the family would argue over them. My husband saw them and immediately declared, "These will be mine." My daughter said that, no, she was going to have them. My son thought they should be his. Luckily we can all share, people.

Science was never one of my interests. I quit taking science classes after the mandatory grade 10 class. Although I don't have the patience to be a scientist, I do have a strong interest in nutrition and I kind of wish I would have studied the science of anatomy and physiology. I figure these books will make great reference books to keep on hand.

The Human Body Book, by Steve Parker, shows the structure and systems of the human body in great detail, with accurate full-colour images. In the book's foreword, Professor Robert Winston notes that new techniques have helped us reveal what lies under our skin in meticulous detail. "How much more thrilling learning anatomy would have been when I was a medical student 40 years ago if we had been able to see beautiful, accurate images like these."

With descriptions and illustrations of the body's physical structure, chemical workings and possible problems and diseases, this book makes a great resource for students (and their parents). It also comes with a DVD that includes animation of the breathing, digestion and conception processes.

Open Me Up is just plain cool. DK describes it as an "irreverent, graphically dynamic, intelligently hilarious and gruesomely informative book about the goings on of our innards."

Pictures of a beefy weightlifter illustrate the pages that discuss the body's 640 skeletal muscles. The "Human Zoo" pages contain (somewhat disturbing) pictures of little critters that call the human body home (or dinner).

These little drawings, above, walk you through the process of treating a broken bone.

The "Tasty Diner Menu" provides a look at the five tastes that your tongue can detect. There's also trivia - like did you know that you have five million smell receptors in your nasal cavity while your dog has 250 million? That explains a lot about our Jolene.

The Human Body Coloring Book is more of a workbook than a colouring book (although my daughter really wants to colour in it). The book is suitable for any student of anatomy.

This book has close to 250 pages of state-of-the-art anatomical illustrations showing areas such as the skeletal system, the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system and much more. You can study the various systems and then self-test by labeling the illustration with the appropriate part names.

Between these three books, I trust I will be able to discover everything I need to know about the human body! If not, DK Canada has lots more books about the human body here.

How about you? Did you give up on the sciences like me, or go on to further study?

*I was provided with books for review purposes. All opinions are my own.


  1. I home school Aurora and we need things to jazz it up - these books might be just the thing!

    1. I didn't know you were doing that. That's great!

      These books certainly ensure that anatomy is not a boring subject.

  2. My mom always had a copy of Gray's Anatomy at the ready, I think for drawing actually but it was fascinating for a number of reasons. This series looks like it definitely takes thing to the next level!

    1. My mom had a little "health" book with some interesting drawings that we used to peek at when we were young. I think she left it out on purpose. ;