Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body

posted in: Katie Daynes, Marie-Eve Tremblay | 5

“When can I grow a beard?”
“Where do doctors go when they’re ill?”
“How do cuts get better?”
“Why do I look pale when I’m ill?”

7277410-MLift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body by Katie Daynes, illustrated by Marie-Eve Tremblay answers all these questions and many more in a brilliantly framed and formatted book for the 3-7 year old crowd all about the human body.

Rather than going through topic by topic like many body books do (covering, for example, your brain, your senses, your digestive system), this book is themed around the type of questions kids of this age are so good at asking: Why does x happen? How does y work?

Thus we have spreads asking and answering questions around when things happen to human bodies, how parts of human bodies work, and why bodies behave like they do. This framing of the information about bodies is a effective device; the book sounds like a child asking the question, making the questions and answers seem doubly relevant and interesting to young readers and listeners. It also allows for a rather eclectic approach to the issues covered and for the young age group this book is aimed at I think this is so clever; it creates the space for some more difficult or whimsical questions, such as “Where do my ideas come from?” and also allows dipping in and out of the book with great ease.

where

The colourful cartoony illustrations are fun and feature children asking lots of questions and doing different activities. It’s interesting to note that no child with any disability is included in the book; I do wonder if this was a conscious editorial decision. The robust physical properties of the book (with pages more like card than paper) are ideal for young children; it’s easy to handle and will certainly cope with repeated reading and enthusiastic lifting of the flaps.

I love the very last page of Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body, for it turns the tables on the reader/listener and after asking a few questions which your child should be able to answer having read the book, it states “Now here are some questions this book can’t answer. See if you can…”

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This gave us the idea to create Mini Me Booklets – a mini book kids can fill in about themselves using these questions as prompts. I’ve created a printable template which you can download from here. Once you’ve printed off the sheet, you’ll need to fold it and cut it to create the booklet. This video will show you how:

As well as some pens and pencils you might give your kids some photos of themselves to cut up and stick into the booklets (my kids adore seeing photos of themselves when they were younger); if you do this I suggest that the photos are sized so that the area to be cut out is no more than 65mm high (to ensure it will fit in the booklet).

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I was particularly heartened by what M wrote in one section of her Mini Me Booklet:

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Whilst making our Mini Me Booklets we listened to:

  • Pee keeps our insides clean by Marc “Doc” Dauer (from a whole album about how the body functions). It’s a much catchier song than the title would suggest, and you can listen for free here on the album’s Myspace page.
  • The Bloodmobile by They Might be Giants
  • Dry Bones sung by the Delta Rhythm Boys

  • Other activities which would work well alongside reading Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body include:

  • Creating your own lift the flap book with all the questions your own kids come up with whilst reading this book. Here’s a simple template you could adapt.
  • Learning what blood is made up of by creating a sensory tub to play with. I love this idea from I Can Teach My Child.
  • Making a role play hospital at home with teddies and dolls. Here’s a couple of ways we’ve done it in the past, including an operating theatre and home made x-rays.

  • What’s the funniest or most surprising question about bodies you’ve ever been asked by your kids?

    Disclosure: I received a free review copy of Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body from the Royal Society.

    royalsocietyprizebuttonEach year the Royal Society awards a prize to the best book that communicates science to young people with the aim of inspiring young people to read about science. Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body is on this year’s shortlist for the The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize. The winner will be announced 17th November.

    5 Responses

    1. Hmmm… some are at least R-rated, so I won’t share those but how about, “Can there be triplets where two of them are conjoined twins?”
      Even in Australia recently posted..Library Round-Up #15, Part 2: Picture Books

    2. Ha! EiA, kids do come up with the greatest of questions.
      Zoe recently posted..Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body

    3. I have a future doctor on my hands (she’s decided, at 6, that she will be either a pediatric cardiac surgeon or, in her words, a “chocolate taste tester”) and her favorite human body book is The First Human Body Encyclopedia, published by DK. She also professes a love of “disgusting” things so I’m getting her a book called Grossology for Chanukah!
      Even in Australia recently posted..Library Round-Up #15, Part 2: Picture Books

    4. We recently had “Exactly how did I get into your tummy Mummy?’ I answered, she thought for a minute then asked why snails make slimy trails! Love 6 year old’s thought processes!!
      Catherine recently posted..The Fairytale Hairdresser and Father Christmas by Abie Longstaff / Lauren Beard

    5. That is very funny Catherine!

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