Review Blog

Aug 24 2020

There's a zoo in my poo by Felice Jacka

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Illus. by Rob Craw. Pan Macmillan Australia, 2020. ISBN: 9781760783044.
(Age: 5-12) Recommended. Professor Felice Jacka is a world expert in the field of Nutritional Psychiatry and gut health and this book will satisfy all those poo-obsessed and curious children wanting to know more about the amazing stuff going on in their bodies. A snappy rhyme at the start of the book introduces readers to the idea that your poo is a zoo and the zoo keeper is you. Bright, funny illustrations of microscopic bugs help to guide readers through the sometimes complex and in-depth content, not all of which will be accessible or understandable for the youngest of the target audience. Separated into chapters, it looks at the bugs that live in our body, the role of bugs in our digestive system and their importance for our overall health, the importance of exposure to dirt and germs and what we should and shouldn't feed our zoo. There are also some easy recipes included at the back of the book that utilise gut-friendly, high-fibre ingredients such as lentils, legumes and wholegrains.
This is a super important book not just for children but also for parents who are trying to improve the gut health of their children. It makes it so much easier to get children on board with eating nutritious food when they understand the reasons for doing so and this book provides child-friendly and engaging content to enable this. This book will spur lively conversations around the dinner table around whether we are feeding our bugs the right sorts of foods and give children the language and scientific knowledge to explain why some foods are good for us and some are not. Some older kids will love reading this from start to finish but other parents may like to read parts of the book with their children separately to help them understand their digestive system and to encourage healthy eating choices.
This is a recommended addition to the non-fiction section of every school library. Themes: Digestive Health, Microbiota.
Nicole Nelson

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