Book Review: Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder

If you know me at all, you know I love books. I was raised by a teacher and a book store manager, both avid readers. Even though Wallace can read quite well on their own, I read to them nightly and randomly throughout the day. We also have a couple audio books going at all times. My mom read to me in the evenings at least into middle school, which was great.

A library copy of Bodies Are Cool on top of my pastel colored granny square afghan.

We picked up some requests last Saturday, including Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder. I can’t recall where I heard about it, but Wallace brought me this and two other books on Monday morning in bed. (I use our local library system like some people use Amazon.) They had already read them but wanted me to read them aloud as well. We started with this one and we both loved it!

First of all, the illustrations are fantastic. There is so much detail but not in an overwhelming way. Each person drawn in this book looks like someone we could encounter in real life. They are all unique and have different skin color, eyes, hair color and texture, shapes, sizes, and every imaginonable difference. Each page pointed out some way we all differ and then we poured over it looking and talking about everything we saw. There are people with skin conditions, scars, limb differences, prosthetics, mobility devices, hearing aids, colostomy bags, glasses, and so much more.

Every page shows a different scene with people doing something together or near each other. Playing in a pool, a cook out, an afternoon in a park, and even an 8th birthday party where we see mostly the legs showing under the table. Just the act of existing in the same frame and not pointing out shortcomings or being rude seems like a huge accomplishment for a children’s book about diversity. It simply states a difference and then shows us a dozen ways a person can be.

The words are simple and a bit rhythmic, which leaves a lot of room for conversation and observation around the illustrations. Wallace would point out things they know about, like prosthetics and limb differences, and ask about things they don’t, like feeding tubes and vitiligo. This is definitely a book I would welcome in my home library and I highly recommend it. It might be a nice addition to have a resource for parents to learn more about some of the differences shown, so they can have fuller conversations.

Wallace says: I love all the diversity. I like how much detail there is. Each time you look at it you see more stuff than you had before. I don’t like that it said, “bodies are cool” on every page. I think it should have been on just a few pages. Anybody who can get it, should probably read it, at least once.

About JennP

Single mom by choice, lesbian, natural living, parenting, car free, Chicago.Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
This entry was posted in Books, disability, family, health, LGBTQ, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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