Walliman, Dominic and Newman, Ben (text); Newman, Ben (illustrator), Professor Astro Cat’s Human Body Odyssey, Flying Eye Books, July 2018, 64 pp., $29.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781911171140
This romp through the human body and its various systems is enlivened by colourful, cartoon illustrations of organs and cells surrounded by brief blocks of facts. Each double-spread page considers an organ (for example, the brain) or a system (for example, the endocrine system), extending into an overview of human DNA and the role of nanobots. There’s a glossary of terms at the back, and a page of random factoids such as the information that everyone’s ear wax is slightly different.
While the information is brief, it would pique interest in readers for further investigation of human anatomy and physiology. My only gripe is the chapter ‘Impairments’ (on disability) in which the language seemed perfunctory and not culturally reflective of how Australians view the lives of people with disability. At least it discussed mental health issues alongside physical ones as challenges that affect many people.
For readers interested in the science of the human body.
Reviewed by Pam Harvey