Friday, December 12, 2008

Lost in the Pages: Book Review of The Busy Body Book by Lizzy Rockwell

As we are now full immersed in the joy of the holiday season, I think it is important to remember all of the things that keep our bodies happy - and make it fun for our children to understand why we can't have cookies all day long!

You may recall from an earlier pre-holiday post, Books for the Holidays, I'm focused on making books an integral part of our Christmas gift-giving. I was going to save this book for a stocking stuffer for my son, but couldn't hold off that long. Maybe you have stronger will-power than I had! This is a fun book that you'll want to share with your children (or grandchildren) as you pass along your passion for health and wellness.

The Busy Body Book: A Kid's Guide to Fitness by Lizzy Rockwell caught my eye at our local Jamba Juice smoothie store. While we weren't able to purchase anything there that day (turns out the store didn't have allergy-free blenders like Emerald City Smoothies does), the book's cover stuck in my mind and I ordered the paperback version from Scholastic Books through my son's preschool just a few weeks later. I was not disappointed!

Filled with lively illustrations of kids of all ethnicities, sizes and abilities happily engaged in physical activity, this book is a geared for the pre-school/kindergarten crowd. Rockwell brings the workings of the human body down to a youngster's comprehension and vocabulary level without dumbing down the concepts. For example, when describing how the brain and nervous system work, she writes, "Messages travel back and forth, at lightning speed, along wire-thin fibers called nerves." That truly is it in a nutshell, right?!

As a former teacher I also appreciate the inclusion of diagrams throughout the book. Well labeled diagrams of the systems of the body (skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, circulatory and digestive) enhance the main content of the book. The earlier kids get accustomed to reading diagrams, the easier school will be for them!

My daughter's favorite page (and keep in mind that she's not quite 2, but very interested in books) is one toward the end that is a grid of children involved in 40 different physical activities ranging from leaf raking to kayaking. These simple, but colorful illustrations show children that "There are lots of ways to be a busy body!" My daughter is captivated by the illustrations of a young girl horseback riding and a redhead swinging (we're all redheads). My son likes pointing out all of the activities we've done together and pointing out the ones he'd like to try (namely skateboarding and tree climbing!). The musician in him loves that a marching trumpet player is included in the mix while the mom in me enjoys the depiction of a little boy scrubbing a floor!

The Busy Body Book is a fun resource for teachers to use in their classrooms for units about the body and for lessons about how to read diagrams. Families will enjoy sharing the book before heading outdoors for a physical adventure (or maybe even before chore time!). The bright colors and positive message leave the reader smiling and energized. This book would be fun to pair with mine, We Are Girls Who Love to Run/Somos Chicas y A Nosotras Nos Encanta Correr and if you have two kids for whom you are purchasing books (The Busy Body Book for a younger child (boy or girl) and my book for an older sister, friend or cousin)!

Next on my list of books to review is Rockwell's other title: Good Enough to Eat: A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition. It will be post-Christmas, though, as that book IS going in my son's Christmas stocking!


ErinC said...

Red heads rule!

That's all I have to say! :)

guruburu said...

gotta agree to that!
and jamba juice is awesome xD