Book Cover

What happens to food / once it’s
been chewed.

There’s plenty of attention to
chemical interactions and anatomical detail in these poems for all that they
are cast in iambic couplets. They begin with the internal odyssey of a pizza
slice, then go on to answer a number of pressing questions, from “Why Does
Chili Make Me Sweat?” to “Why Does My Urine Come Out Yellow?” Breaking into
prose for side comments and “Cool Facts” as she goes, Settel also covers such
tasty topics as how laughing can make milk come out one’s nose, why garlic
breath is so hard to get rid of, the ins and outs of farts and burps, the many
uses of saliva, and the roles of various organs in digestion: “The liver’s bile
is needed too, / as small intestines do not do / too well digesting fat without
/ a squirt of bile to help them out.” Björkman’s cartoons, all bright
colors and loose, fluid lines, add a diversely hued cast of young folk
exuberantly chowing down, throwing up, looking amazed or grossed out, and
posing as models for labeled internal views. The bulky glossary and equally
dense bibliography piled up at the end aim high; younger readers may find the five-item
list of online animations and videos more palatable.

From plate to poop, / the inside
scoop. What’s not to love? (index) (Informational poetry. 6-10)



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