Human Body Picture Books

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I mentioned previously that my son is fascinated by the human body, probably because of my changing body during pregnancy. My baby is now five weeks old! We’ve found some fun books about the human body that my four-year-old has enjoyed.

One book that made him laugh because of the title is You Can’t Smell a Flower with Your Ear by Joanna Cole (Penguin 2004). Joanna Cole, who also wrote the Magic School Bus science books, does a great job of capturing science for the youngest reader. This book is no exception, as she discusses the five senses and the body parts that let us hear, see, feel, smell, and taste. This book is a nice low-level early reader for the interested youngster.

Twenty Questions: Why Do Feet Smell? by Melvin and Gilda Berger (Scholastic, 2012) is a book that my son discovered at a Scholastic Book Fair and was very excited to read. (“We can read it during “school time!” he was excited to tell me.)

As the title indicates, it contains twenty questions about the human body and answers to them.  From sneezing to smelly feet, the succinct answers were surprisingly informative and interesting. Each page has bright photographs of children, and “do you know?” fact boxes as well.

Much more advanced are two other reference books that we enjoyed, even though I didn’t read them in full to my son.

Discoverology’s Human Body by Steve Parker (Barron’s, 2008) is a brief (32-page) pop-up interactive book simply packed with detailed facts. My son loved the popups: a skull, a skeleton, the muscle system, skin hair that grows, and so forth.

Although he didn’t have the patience to listen to all the facts and the writing and explanations were too advanced for him, the abundance of information on each page allowed me to find the answers to the questions he had for me about the various parts of the body. I learned from this book each time we sat down with it.

Also full of information is The Way We Work by David Macauly (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), a 300-page volume full of humorous yet accurate explanations about the workings of the human body, as well as detailed and memorable illustrations that bring clarity to the inner workings of the human body.

A friend mentioned this book to me when I indicated my son was working on the human body in “school at home,” and then I promptly saw it on a sale table in Barnes and Noble! Although I admit that I have not read this book in full (and obviously my son has not either), I’m looking forward to having it as a resource as we repeatedly return to learning more about the body.

Reviewed on March 31, 2012

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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