Kay’s Anatomy


Do you know why your stomach rumbles when you’re hungry? Is it true that sperm swim at twenty miles an hour? Former doctor Adam Kay offers Kay’s Anatomy, whereby he guides us through the human body. We work through organ after organ, beginning with the skin. Thereafter, he breaks each subject into parts, so we learn, for example about bruises and birthmarks, why blisters should not pop, and how we’re one moving dust jacket! At the end of this subject, as in all the other organs that follow, we’ve questions, followed by a true of false (True or Poo.)

No subject is off limits. Adam Kay insists that information should be offered directly and truthfully, that it’s important for younger readers to have a good grasp of how anatomy works. The rigour, thoroughness, quality and pace of information are engrossing, while his humour makes everything more approachable and understandable. Henry Paker’s illustrations really examine and expand upon ideas and themes entertainingly too!

Bookwagon recommends Kay’s Anatomy highly, for home reading and schools. This is an essential title.

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Kay’s Anatomy

A complete (and Completely Disgusting) Guide to the Human Body

Adam Kay, illustrated by Henry Paker

(Penguin Random House) 

Kay’s Anatomy doesn’t hide from telling the truth. This guide book offers the substance about what makes us tick. Thereafter, Adam Kay ‘takes us through the body, organ by organ’. There’s a degree of delight and fascination in the tone of this former doctor’s writing that is inspirational, while the humour entices.
Therefore, we read such information as red blood cells being ’round but sightly squished and flattened, like a wine gum you’ve accidentally sat upon‘. Yet Adam Kay goes further and explains the function of each organ, so we understand why and how each work and interact. Therefore as we read along, information is repeated that we understand anew, e.g., that bones make blood cells.
There are (sort of) apologies for the more technical information such as a list of all the layers of the bone, but recognition that this is important. This importance is why Adam Kay explains the body in such engrossing detail. Furthermore, it means that we believe and understand what he tells us.
I love the way that at the end of each subject, a Q & A is included: ‘Kay’s Kwestions‘. We learn why steam comes off wee, why women’s feet get bigger when they’re pregnant, or that astronauts breathe wee!
Rather like The Speed of Starlight: How Physics, Light and Sound Work, Kay’s Anatomy held me gripped. I learned so much from this brilliant book, despite not being the target market. I love its tone, pace, quality and depth of information, and its purpose. Kay’s Anatomy is an essential book for home and school reading.


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