NONFICTION

Your Amazing Digestion from Mouth through Intestine

Atheneum S. & S.. (Your Amazing Body Books). Jul. 2019. 112p. further reading. glossary. index. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481486880.
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Gr 4-7–Rhyming one’s way through the digestive system is a lot more casual than most researchers might expect, but Settel’s work is both engaging to read and chock-full of facts. Terms that might be unfamiliar are in bold type and are well defined in an extensive glossary. Meanwhile, there are nifty bits about that slice of pizza you ingested so cavalierly (composition, nutritive values, and passage through to the end–yes, that end.) Interspersed with the rhyming text are non-rhyming pages of “Cool Facts” with solid details on such goodies as one’s liver and one’s sense of taste. Settel doesn’t hesitate to discuss the less polite items such as stinky breath and farts, and (gasp!) urine and feces. There are lots of enticing bits to hold children’s interest through the somewhat drier sections on what is transpiring as the chyme hits the road through the entrails; and before readers know it they have followed food from ingestion to elimination and are happily wiser than they were at the start. Björkman’s colorful cartoon illustrations keep perfect time with Settel’s chirpy, informative text. The lucid glossary is rounded out by research sites and a packed list of references and additional readings.
VERDICT An informative romp in an unexpected playground!

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