Books & Literature

Book Review: Kay’s Anatomy, by Adam Kay

JUNIOR BIOLOGY: Are bogies safe to eat? Do you ever think about your body and how it works? It’s pretty weird but this book is going to tell you what’s going on.

A funny, informative medical book which can be enjoyed by the whole family.

A complete medical book for kids! What a fabulous idea.

Written for middle grade children, Kay’s Anatomy: A Complete, (and Completely Disgusting) Guide to the Human Body is a non-fiction tome and the perfect Christmas present for all those budding doctors, those who are interested in the human body and those who just like all things gross!

Adam Kay is a writer, comedian and former doctor. He has sold over 2.5 million copies of his book This is Going to Hurt which is the best-selling narrative non-fiction book of the decade. It will soon be a BBC/AMC comedy/drama starring Ben Wishaw. His next two books were also instant hits. So, he must be doing something right!

Kay has used all his skills to produce a funny, interesting, engrossing (and yes, often gross) book about the human body. The book is split into chapters, each dealing with a separate part of the body: skin, heart, blood, lungs, brain, hair and nails among others. It is both funny and extremely informative. I defy anyone to not sing the heading, Eyes and Ears and Mouth and Nose.

Kay’s Anatomy begins with a dedication to his science teacher who gave him detention in 1991 for saying he smelled. Well, he did smell, says Kay, and I bet he still smells, and now it’s official because it’s in a book. A promise of things to come.

Black and white illustrations by Henry Paker are an excellent addition, both explaining the text and adding an extra comical layer. There are also short comic strips to add further explanation. The healthy food table has all the food with eyes, which is a bit disturbing! Headings are clear and the extra fact boxes are fun.

Kay debunks all the old stories our parents used to tell us like: you will catch a cold if you go out with wet hair, or you will get sick if you eat your snot. He also answers questions like: Do you have hair on every part of your body? Do geniuses have massive brains? Or do you only use ten percent of your brain? All good questions. The answers might help you at your next quiz night.

This is a book you could pick up over and over again, reading from cover to cover, or choosing those body parts which most interest you at the time. I guarantee the whole family will be pouring over Kay’s Anatomy and I urge you to go out and buy a copy.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: October 2020
RRP: $29.99


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