Monday, May 16, 2011

Lift the Flap and Learn: The Human Body

Kids love books they can manipulate, whether they be pop-ups or lift-the-flaps. There's something satisfying about pulling a tab or lifting a shape to see what's hidden underneath. Babies have Pat the Bunny to mutilate. Toddlers and preschoolers, Where's Spot. But what about beginning readers?

The Human Body is perfect for this age group. Cleverly done, children can lift, slide, and pull to their heart's content, while picking up fascinating facts about how their bodies work. The book starts with a matter-of-fact account of how babies are made. (No tabs to pull or lift here!) Children then lift flaps to see the developing fetus and even get to help "deliver" the newborn when they pull the tab in the operating room. The next spread shows how babies grow and change into adults.

Kids are then introduced to some of the body's major systems (muscular, skeletal, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, nervous, and integumentary) with detours to explore the five sense and taste buds, as well as information on germs and how to take care of ourselves when we're sick.

My all-time favorite spread is called "Your Digestion." It shows how a forkful of broccoli works its way from the mouth through the intestines. The reader helps push the food down as it gets processed. When the tab at the bottom is pulled--out comes the poop. One review I read deplored this as being in questionable taste, but I think kids will appreciate this very graphic illustration of how food turns to waste. I know I did!

For the most part, the illustrations are cartoonish and not very detailed. The illustrator draws germs as weird-looking creatures with facial features. Yet they are realistic enough to portray essential information about the body accurately. The bones that make up a hand, for instance, are correct in number and size.

After pulling and lifting their way through this book, kids are sure to come away with plenty of questions of their own. So bone up on your anatomy and be prepared with your answers.

Lift the Flap and Learn: The Human Body
by Pascale Hedelin
illustrations by Robert Barborini
Owl Kids, 40 pages
Published: 2008
Book provided by publisher.

  This week's Nonfiction Monday Round-up is at Simply Science.



  1. This sounds like a fun concept, although since this is a beginning reader, I'm trying to imagine what happens when the reader pulls the tab in the operating room! As for the poop, well, kids should love that one! I don't think that my library owns this title, I'll have to check on it.

  2. Does the poop come out of the front of the body? That's how it looks in the illustration.