Review by Booklist Review
Ages 5^-8. A snappy introduction to the human skeleton, this picture book is based on the African American spiritual "Dem Bones." Those looking forward to singing along may stumble a bit, with all the "--the refrain given only at the end of the entire bony list. Each double-page spread illustrates one phrase from the song, which dances through the spread, while in smaller letters Barner discusses one of the 10 bones named in the song in a few lines of simple, informative text. The last spread features a reclining skeleton with 20 major bones labeled. Although this is not primarily a song book, the music comes through loud and clear in the jazzy, jiving positions of the skeletons, who play a variety of instruments as they illustrate their knee bones, head bones, and so on. Bold in form and vibrant in color combination, the collages of torn and cut papers create a series of lively illustrations. Engaging up close and even more effective at a distance, the artwork makes this an inviting picture book to read aloud in primary-grade classrooms. --Carolyn Phelan
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Using a classic African American spiritual as a springboard, Barner dives gleefully into this clever anatomy lesson. Enthusiastic members of a skeleton band cavort across the pages, strumming guitars, blowing horns and otherwise helping to establish a spirited tone while imparting bits of relevant information. Each line from the song is given its own spread; text blocks set into the illustrations give related facts. For the lyric "Leg bone connected to da knee bone," for example, readers learn that the knee joint "works like a hinge," enabling one to "kick, jump, squat, and dance." The particular bone in question is always highlighted in red on the skeleton, leaving no room for doubt. Splashed across a series of bright backdrops (Halloween colors predominate), Barner's (Benny's Pennies) cut- and torn-paper collages are geared for tickling the funny bones of the early elementary set. Just about the only thing lacking here is the musical notation for a sing-along. No bones about it, this will be a real boost for those looking to inject a little humor and fun into basic facts about the human body. Ages 2-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 2-4-Descriptions of skeletal structures are interspersed with the words of the traditional African American spiritual, "Dem Bones." Leg bones, ankle bones, and neck bones are described in medical terminology and their structures are explained in simple terms for young readers. Subtle humor is helpful in explaining some of the concepts ("The skull is like a box that grows."). The colorful paper collage illustrations add humor and feature dancing, smiling skeletons playing instruments in accompaniment to the lyrics. This could be enjoyed as a picture book, using just the lyrics, but it works just as well as easy nonfiction.-Christine A. Moesch, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Lively paper collage illustrations of a skeleton jazz band and the lyrics to 'Dem Bones' are accompanied by facts about each bone named in the song. A diagram at the back of the book provides more scientific terms for each bone, and a two-page gathering of all the skeletons with different bones highlighted gives readers an opportunity to review. From HORN BOOK 1996, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.