Submitter: This book last circulated in 1970 (thank goodness) and was withdrawn from the juvenile section of a mid-size academic library. I’m all for drawing similarities across living organisms, but the illustrations of the dead chicken innards are just creepy and I can totally understand the expression on the androgynous human’s face if that were the outside of my body (seems to be missing a few things). Also, if dissecting a chicken is supposed to tell us about, well, us, then why do you spend most of the book explaining how we’re different? And what is on the table on the cover? Chestnuts? Chicken hearts? You decide.
Holly: This book is for children?? Its format and vocabulary are very mature. The little darlings on the cover have been put off their chicken nuggets for a while, I think.
Submitter: This is one of those books that publishers crank out in library binding and market to elementary school libraries and public libraries. I found it on the shelf of the public library where I work. I find the paring of reproduction and digestion odd. Physical proximity does not equate to function. The opening spread pretty much says it all: apparently if you eat an apple, you will get pregnant. The photo layouts are just awful. Almost every spread has a mangled person in the fold. One spread includes fat shamming: it has a side by side comparison of a skinny blonde woman in a bikini with an obese woman who is also in a bathing suit (image not attached). And the text is so helpful. A page on reproduction says, “Most teens spend less time with their families and more time with their peers. Many friendships become very intense very fast—then fade just a quickly.” How is this relevant to the topic of reproduction? I loved that this text is paired with a photo of a female teen who seems to be pushing down a male while cozying up to another girl. Curious!
Holly: I agree with submitter that the pairing of digestion and reproduction is weird. I kind of like the layout with all the sidebars, but the double-page photos make the people look all dysmorphic. This is almost 13 years old, so it can probably be replaced with something newer anyway. Meh.
Submitter: I found this as I was weeding the children’s section of our public library. It’s copyright is 1977; it was acquired in 1982; it hasn’t been checked out since 1997. My first thought when I pulled the book off the shelf was, “Is that Bob Saget?” The nicest thing I can say about the pictures is that they are dated. Some are actually slightly disturbing, like the centerfold pose illustrating digestion. Honestly, I was too distracted by the guy wearing the unitard that I couldn’t concentrate on any of the information presented in this book. Some further Internet research revealed some YouTube clips of Slim Goodbody [such as this one]. Slim Goodbody is also still touring the US and giving presentations at elementary schools. I can only hope his books have been updated a little bit. http://www.slimgoodbody.com
Holly: Ha ha ha! Oh, man, this is awesome. I think kids would enjoy something like this! I agree that 1977 is definitely pushing the limits of useful, but I’m surprised it hasn’t circulated better. It’s funny. I used to be obsessed with the transparent overlay pages in the World Book under “human body” and would have thought this was cool (that was 1982…). Bob Saget + Richard Simmons + Dustin Diamond = Slim Goodbody.