'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 15 June 2020

Review: The Great Big Brain Book

The Great Big Book series brings us the eighth title that celebrates our marvellous brain. Mary Hoffman’s clever, light-hearted and humorous text is surrounded and supported by Ros Asquith’s superb cartoon-style, watercolour illustrations.

Frame by frame, the children’s artwork reaches its target audience in the best way possible.

Kids will see and learn how the brain develops, its role, and how it is the command centre that sends messages to the body using neurons. It features the weight of the brain, the amount of cells, brain food, and the senses. (There is more!)

Listed are the many areas the brain controls, including memory, muscles, movement and dreams.

How does the brain help us make decisions, multi-task and use language? These areas are all covered on outstanding, fully illustrated pages.

I must comment further on the illustrations that are truly fabulous! Both end pages exhibit all the areas controlled by the brain. It is a parade of colour and depicts the emotion-filled children that appear in the book.

The title page shows the two hemisphere’s of the brain and the cat that appears all over the place. Speech bubbles allow us to see what the cat is thinking – at times funny and others not. Kids will look forward to seeing it wherever it appears.

Many of the pages are decorated with miniature illustrations, forming borders around the three edges.

Many of the illustrations are presented in child-like drawings on boards. This immediately engages the reader by making personal contact with them. Pages full of small details allow kids to spend time searching, finding and questioning.

Visually stimulating, a lot of thought has gone into presenting a subject that otherwise would be seen as complex to this age group.

With simple text, easy to follow explanations and the vibrant images, it becomes an entertaining and valuable learning tool. Larger than the usual picture book size, the text is presented in bold type and a larger font.

It’s a book filled with energy and humour, and addresses the ageing of the brain as well as its growth from childhood. I loved it!

Title: The Great Big Brain Book
Author: Mary Hoffman
Illustrator: Ros Asquith
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: 3 March 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780711241534
For ages: 5 - 8
Type: Non Fiction