Review Blog

Oct 23 2020

The human body survival guide (Your body is really gross - but also pretty awesome!) by George Ivanoff

cover image

Penguin Random House Australia, 2020. ISBN: 9781760896744.
(Ages: 8-Adult) Highly recommended. Everything you always wanted to know about bodily functions, in excruciating detail, can be found in this entertaining book by George Ivanoff. It follows on from the first book in this nonfiction series called The Australia survival guide: Australia is trying to kill you, this book will save your life! published in 2019.
George is onto a winner here with all the facts about the most mundane of human anatomy presented in a highly amusing way. He introduces the "Gross-o-meter" which is a scale included on each page to rate how gross the particular section is according to the author; it rates from Un-gross through a 5-step scale to Ultra-gross. The book is divided into four sections : On the outside: about skin, wrinkles, cuts, nails, sweat and body image; On the inside: cardiovascular system, digestive systems, muscles and the brain; Better out than in: about body secretions and excretions (something kids all find riveting) and Everything else: a mix of facts about parasites, the body being an ecosystem, bionic body parts and much more. There is nothing about the Reproductive system. These short chapters have some very funny titles e.g. The wrapping, Food churning grossness, Red Spurty stuff, Pooping it out, Special invited guests, etc. which will definitely attract all children to this book. It also includes a Glossary and Further reading section at the end but no Index. It is very informative and includes case notes for real life examples of some things and little orange post-it notes to point out extra interesting things.
The book has the look of an old handbook as the illustrations inside are monochrome with large splashes of orange/red being the only bright colour. The photographs used are also black and white and this makes it very approachable for everyone who finds full colour pictures of body parts and insides confronting. There are some promotional videos by the author which libraries may find useful to introduce these books to their clients. Themes: Human anatomy, Physiology.
Gabrielle Anderson

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