Title: The Brain is Kind of a Big Deal
Author/Illustrator: Nick Seluk
Published: Scholastic, 2019
As you might’ve guessed, based on past blog entries, we have quite the library of books here at home. Some families spend money on sporting equipment, some spend money on cottages or fancy clothes or expensive vacations…but imagine how much money they’d have for books if they directed their mad money that way! That’s us. We have books.
I read a lot (never fewer than 5 books on the go at once is my motto!) and my personal preferences are quite eclectic, but I do have a major soft spot for non-fiction books. Some of my all-time favourites are:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot, 2011)
Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Katherine Boo, 2012)
Anything by Mary Roach or Bill Bryson
Being Mortal (Atul Gawande, 2014)
Between Expectations: Lessons from a Pediatric Residency (Meghan Weir, 2011)
Do No Harm (Henry Marsh, 2016)
I really like books that have a ton of info in them and teach me about something I know nothing about (and/or a profession I’d never go into…like medicine)! When I saw The Brain is Kind of a Big Deal, I thought Lily might like it. (Okay, I REALLY hoped she would. Vivi is very much like Karl in that she reads strictly fantasy/sci-fi/graphic novels right now, so I need SOMEONE at home who loves non-fiction.)
Luckily, Lily ADORES this book. Why? Because of the following reasons, mostly:
- The art is adorable. The various body systems are drawn in such a friendly, cartoon-ish way. How can you NOT love your kidneys? They’re smiling at you! They love you! They just want to keep your body free of waste and make sure you stay healthy. Appreciate them!
- The text is jam-packed with facts, but the story is told in an accessible, easy-to-understand way.
Lily asks for this one about once a week. And she’s actually retaining some of the knowledge! She especially likes the part where the brain has trouble remembering a phone number, but gets it after several repetitions. She’s actually recalled the word ‘synapse’ and she’s totally not grossed out by any of the super-gross stuff your body does. (Not that this book delves too deeply into that kind of thing…but she’s asked questions about all the organs, based on the pictures in this book. And, well, she’s 100% not like me when it comes to getting queasy about certain things. Like blood. Or vomit. She’s going to be a great doctor, is what I’m saying.)
I really like the fact that more and more picture books are combining factual, non-fictional stories with fun, friendly characters. Not only is it great for kids to learn how life works, it’s also awesome for adults to pick up a fun fact or two.
Mama’s review: Five brains out of five!
Lily’s review: “The brain is adorable! I love his glasses. And, yes, I know brains don’t really wear glasses.”