Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Travel the World: England: Chewy, Gooey, Rumble, Plop!

Today's edition is an unusual one I admit. The country is England. The subject matter is nonfiction. The format is pop-up book. I hereby present: Chewy, Gooey, Rumble, Plop! by Steve Alton. Illustrated by Nick Sharratt. It was published in October by Dial/Penguin.

Alton, Steve. 2007. Chewy, Gooey, Rumble, Plop: A Deliciously Disgusting plop-up guide to the digestive system.

This book won't be for everyone. Take it as a sign that no one was willing to step up in my Librarians Choices meeting to take this one home to review it. Whether from embarrassment at "claiming" it or disgust of the subject matter could be debated. But I grabbed this one up? Why? Because as 'disgusting' as it may be. It has real KID appeal. I mean there is a whole segment of the population that never tires of making much of burps and farts and everything else along the way. (They're called BOYS).

From the cover, you can see the appeal. Notice the "touch and feel" tongue. I dare you NOT to touch it. And if you're honest, you might admit to even playing with the tongue. Whoever thought of this cover was a genius. That's all I've got to say about that.

In addition to all the great pop-ups. This book is jammed with information. Whether the information turns your stomach or not, you've got to admit that some of it is 'cool' and falls under the category of I-didn't-know-that. Such as "You make about half a gallon of spit each day and swallow most of it. That's over 13,000 gallons in a lifetime." Or how about this: "In the average lifetime, the esophagus squeezes between 30 and 50 tons of mashed-up food. That's the weight of 10 fully grown elephants."

As I said, this book may not be for everyone. And not everyone would admit to liking it. But I think it will be a winner with kids none the less.


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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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