Wow in the World: The How and Wow of the Human Body
Podcast hosts' hilarious, superb body book for kids, tweens.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wow in the World: The How and Wow of the Human Body is written by Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz, the hosts of popular kid's podcast Wow in the World. Chapters explore in hilarious detail body parts and functions including the brain, bones, heart, blood, the urinary system, skin, hair, and, not too surprisingly for fans of the podcast, sections on poop and farts. A chapter on the reproductive system doesn't mention sex, but older kids and tweens might want to talk with adults about how the sperm and egg get together. No violence or language concerns, but be forewarned, there's plenty of stomach-turning content like the fact that we swallow about a quart of snot every day. But, as the authors say: Being gross is part of what makes us human. Gross is also what keeps kids reading educational books, so rejoice: Kids will love the laugh-out-loud approach and barely notice they're learning a ton about how the human body works.
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What's the Story?
WOW IN THE WORLD: THE HOW AND WOW OF THE HUMAN BODY begins with a short, tone-setting intro that tells readers they can read the book in or out of order and not to use it for killing bugs. The eight chapters cover one to four body features, from the head (ears, eyes, nose, and throat) to the immune system. Shared alongside traditional body knowledge are high-appeal factoids like "record-breaking wows" from the Guinness Book of World Records (farthest eyeball pop, stretchiest skin, loudest recorded burp, etc.) and "fact snacks" like how long the average pee lasts or the fact that your nose and ears never stop growing. Illustrations, photos, diagrams, "ads" for various body parts, comic-strips, text-like conversation bubbles, and various other graphic/text combinations will engage all kinds of readers. Back matter has a Mad-Lib-style, fill-in-the-blanks with a partner "Thank-You Letter to Your Body," a glossary, recommended reading and listening lists, source notes, photo credits, and an index.
Is It Any Good?
This super funny, punny, and fact-filled book about bodies will have kids cracking up as they learn. Mindy and Guy Raz' personalities from their podcast translate well onto the page in Wow in the World: The How and Wow of the Human Body. Mindy, as the messy, risk-taking, wild-idea scientist, and Guy, as the methodical, safety-minded, nerdy science "Guy," are fantastic narrators. Kid fans of the podcast will love "seeing" cartoon Mindy and Guy in action, as well as finding Reggie the pigeon on nearly every page. Illustrator Jack Teagle's pictures capture the authors' love for the silly, the gross, and the scientifically accurate.
Humor is everywhere, but it's really the fascinating, wonder-inspiring science that's the subtle driving force of this well-researched tome. Most kids will be able to see themselves and their lives in this book, too, given illustrations of people with many skin colors, gender representations, and abilities, as well as a wide variety of couples and a jargon-less blurb about the complexity of gender identity. An excellent anatomy and physiology guide for kids, this book will be an especially big hit with future doctors and nurses, non-fiction lovers, and fans of the podcast.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how humor works in Wow in the World: The How and Wow of the Human Body. Did you laugh a little or a lot while reading this book? Why do you think Mindy and Guy Raz decided to use so much humor in this educational book?
What chapters or sections were the most memorable? What made them stand out to you? What are some new things that you learned?
Talk about how the pictures, diagrams, and comic strip pages affected your reading experience. Were the drawings as funny as the text? Did they help you learn, or do you think they were there just for entertainment's sake?
- Authors: Mindy Thomas, Guy Raz
- Illustrator: Jack Teagle
- Genre: Body Awareness
- Topics: STEM, Adventures, Science and Nature
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: March 2, 2021
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 192
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 2, 2021
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