All children – and many grown-ups! – are fascinated by the workings of the human body. This marvellous large-format book uses a fantastic paper-cut-out design to reveal the organs and systems of the body. It has a vibrant, attractive colour scheme and some truly ingenious paper engineering. Although intended for age 7+, it’s suitable for any primary school age and beyond, as younger children can enjoy lifting the intricate flaps, observing the illustrations and having the captions read to them, while older ones will be able to read the text and understand the diagrams better. I feel that this book will be educational for adults too, as it includes details such as areas of the brain, which are not necessarily part of a general education. It also includes the proper names for body parts and functions along with the common name. The writing style is straightforward and not at all patronising.
When I asked my kids if they liked the book, the answer was a resounding “YES!” Their comments included: “I like the colourful brain”, that the alveoli “look like broccoli” and “I like the running man” (muscular system). They were particularly amazed by the illustrations of inside a tooth, the development of a baby in the womb, the digestive system and the respiratory system (part of a clever layering of die-cuts in which you open the ribcage, lift up the lungs and find the heart). The text goes into a fair amount of detail, although it doesn’t cover everything. For children who are at the stage of questioning every fact they encounter, there aren’t always answers. Sometimes there is no explanation you can give, other than “it’s part of the body and that’s how it works”.
Many thanks to Templar Books (an imprint of Bonnier) for the review copy. Paper World: Human Body is published today! It’s available in hardback. There are two previous titles in the series, Planet Earth and Space.