The best books about the body for children and the adults in their lives

Steven Clark Cunningham Author Of Your Body Sick and Well: How Do You Know?
By Steven Clark Cunningham

Who am I?

I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a doctor, perhaps because there were no doctors in my family, and I did not even realize that I wanted to (or could) go to medical school until I was almost done with college. Once I did realize this, however, it became immediately obvious to me that being a physician (a surgeon) was what I wanted to dedicate my life’s work to, and I have been passionate about it ever since. Probably the topics I am most passionate about after surgery are education, books, reading, poetry, etc., so this book lets both these passions dovetail beautifully!


I wrote...

Your Body Sick and Well: How Do You Know?

By Steven Clark Cunningham, Susan Detwiler (illustrator),

Book cover of Your Body Sick and Well: How Do You Know?

What is my book about?

This playful book serves up a fun and healthy collection of bite-sized treats that both educate and entertain.

Following in the Jurassic footsteps of his award-winning book Dinosaur Name Poems, the current poems share the motif of using the names of things to introduce in a safe and fun way topics that otherwise may be unfamiliar or even a little scary. The lyrical nature of the poems and the vibrant warmth of the illustrations give the traction needed to keep kids reading the poems and the “Learn More!” sections that follow each poem.

The books I picked & why

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The Gas We Pass: The Story of Farts

By Shinta Cho, Amanda Mayer Stinchecum (translator),

Book cover of The Gas We Pass: The Story of Farts

Why this book?

I have read this book scores, if not hundreds, of times to my four kids when they were younger. Just like another favorite in this series, Everyone Poops, both the title and the contents remind and reassure us that we are not alone in our digestive functions of passing gas and pooping! Even though these are normal, they can cause anxiety, embarrassment, etc., but this book does a great job of making learning about digestion fun!


Todos Hacemos Caca

By Taro Gomi,

Book cover of Todos Hacemos Caca

Why this book?

Like The Gas We Pass, this book I read over and over with our kids, but we had the Spanish version, since our kids were raised bilingual (which is also partly why my first book, Dinosaur Name Poems/Poemas De Nombres De Dinosaurios was published as a bilingual (English/Spanish book). Maybe because it was the Spanish version of Todos Hacemos Caca that I read first, but whatever the reason, I have always liked it a little more than the English version (which is also great!).  


How Your Body Works

By Judy Hindley,

Book cover of How Your Body Works

Why this book?

I love the way this book so clearly explains the structure and function of the body (anatomy and physiology) functions with conceptually perspicuous illustrations. It’s remarkable how the clear and intuitive the schematic illustrations teach about the body. At first, I thought that I would not like it, since the organs are not shown in their natural appearances but instead as machines, but after reading it, I loved it.


The Magic School Bus Presents: The Human Body: A Nonfiction Companion to the Original Magic School Bus Series

By Dan Green, Carolyn Bracken (illustrator),

Book cover of The Magic School Bus Presents: The Human Body: A Nonfiction Companion to the Original Magic School Bus Series

Why this book?

This entire Magic School Bus series has also been a favorite of ours with our kids. I love the way that the bus goes inside of the human body and gets up close and personal with the cells of the human body. I remember thinking about how it made the difficult-to-see and -imagine immune system easy to picture in the mind of the reader.


Uncover the Human Body

By Luann Colombo, Craig Zuckerman (illustrator), Jennifer Fairman (illustrator), J Max Steinmetz (illustrator)

Book cover of Uncover the Human Body

Why this book?

The thing that I really like about this book is that it is literally built around a 3-D model of the body embedded in the center of the book, so that as you turn the pages, you uncover different layers of the body, since the model is built in layers, each attached to the board-book-style pages. So, opening the cover (the skin, as it were) of the book reveals a page on the dermal system, and the skeletal system, and as you turn the next page, the ribs come with the page to reveal some of the internal organs, and so on. 


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