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THE GREAT BIG BODY BOOK by Mary Hoffman Kirkus Star


From the Great Big Book series, volume 4

by Mary Hoffman ; illustrated by Ros Asquith

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-84780-872-1
Publisher: Frances Lincoln

What is a body?

In the pattern of their earlier books about families and feelings, this experienced team turns its attention to human bodies. As might be expected, their lively survey is notable for its inclusivity. Spread by spread, they introduce their young audience to the bodies of babies, toddlers, teens, pregnant women, and the elderly; to body parts; to fitness, health, and injuries; to senses; to families; to growth, aging, and death; and to a vast range of possibilities. Under the heading “Boy or Girl?” they remind readers that while gender is the first thing people want to know about new babies, “not everyone fits neatly into a ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ box.” Over and over, both text and pictures demonstrate that bodies are both similar and different, that they develop at differing rates, and that they don’t all work in quite the same way. Asquith’s appealing cartoons fill the pages with diverse examples: vignettes of children and adults in an astonishing variety of perfectly believable shapes, sizes, skin tones, moods, clothing (yes, some headscarves), activities, and degrees of mobility. The armless child drawing with a pencil in her mouth is especially memorable. The thought balloons of a cat that wanders through the pages contrast the human and feline worlds.

Cheerful and informative, this is a splendid introduction for humans of all shapes and sizes to share.

(Informational picture book. 3-7)