The Museum of Odd Body Leftovers: A Tour of Your Useless Parts, Flaws, and Other Weird Bits

"The useless bits. The leftovers. The bad patch jobs." These are the anatomical exhibits in Rachel Poliquin's brilliant museum for budding scientists. A wisdom tooth and a disappearing kidney guide the audience through a series of intriguingly bizarre wings within the human body, each containing some vestigial structure. The talking molar delivers fascinating background through delightfully witty dialogue, and Clayton Hanmer's illustrations ingeniously reinforce the concepts with clever detail and comic appeal. The Museum of Odd Body Leftovers is an enjoyable tour that will educate the whole family.

Poliquin, author of the Superpower Field Guide series, provides easy-to-understand explanations of evolution that accompany each exhibit. As Poliquin explains the parts of the body, she also breaks down the concepts that contribute to their demise with accessible analogies. She includes innovative sidebars and footnotes for supplemental information like pronunciations and definitions. At the end of each section, a "Love Your Leftovers" activity entices readers to try some hands-on research. Hanmer (Dog vs. Ultra Dog) perfectly complements Poliquin's humor and enhances the tour with his visual extravaganza. Wonderful small details like cobwebs and ornate picture frames add to the atmosphere; his depiction of the museum gift shop at the end of the tour is so utterly fitting and amusing it almost takes the disappointment out of reaching the conclusion.

Young readers will find myriad reasons to love learning science in this innovative presentation of the human body's transformation. And readers of any age are likely to learn a fascinating tidbit or two. The Museum of Odd Body Leftovers is the hottest ticket in town, don't miss it. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

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