By: Jean Reed
Illustrated by: Clyde Seymour and Jason Fowler
Publication Date: June 2020
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: October 2020
Have you ever tried to explain to a child what a tummy rumble means, or why they need to chew their food before swallowing? Now there’s a book that cleverly explains all the ins and outs of eating, why certain foods are important, and what your body does with each type of food.
Five Funny Tummy Men begins with an explanation of how “…these little men live right down in YOUR tummy.” We learn how small they are (hint: look at your fingers) and then we meet each one and learn what they do. First we’re introduced to Mr. Boss, who, well, his name says it all, he’s the boss who oversees the other tummy men. Next up is Mr. Swallow and Mr. Grinder, and their names, too, perfectly describe their jobs. Mr. Piler is in charge of separating all the food into piles based on what they are needed for: a fingernail pile, a hair pile, a bone pile, etc. The final tummy man, Mr. Deliveryman, delivers those piles of food to the parts of your body where those nutrients are needed.
While it’s nice to know what each tummy man does, it’s equally important to know what happens when you don’t eat the right foods. “To keep strong, healthy and ready for school and play, Mr. Deliveryman must make a delivery to EVERY part of your body EVERY day.” What happens if you don’t eat your vegetables? Five Funny Tummy Men explains what happens to your body when those vegetables are missing, as well as when you miss other important foods.
This imaginative book also tackles the topics of eating too fast, playing too hard right after eating and eating too much or too often. Those “Funny Tummy Men” are not going to be happy if you do any of these things. And the author explains each one and why it upsets the tummy men.
There are lots of books on the market that explain the importance of proper nutrition. Few, if any, however, do so in such an original and fun way as Five Funny Tummy Men. The author has done a great job of injecting humor into her story and creating an imaginary world of “food processing” that children can understand. There’s more text than a simple few lines per page which means this book would be suitable for approximately a second grade reading level (younger children would need help or need it read to them, perhaps over a few nights for those with a short attention span). The illustrations of the Tummy Men, as well as parts of the body – the tummy as food is delivered, toes that are unhappy because they didn’t get the proper delivery of needed nutrients, the grinder that Mr. Grinder uses – are reminiscent of comic book images, with minimal details and bright colors, that draw the eye to the important things such as the tummy men’s facial expressions. It’s a style that works perfectly with the tone of the book to create an overall engaging experience that will draw children into the story.
Quill says: Five Funny Tummy Men tackles an important topic that children need to understand and does it in a way that will keep kids reading. Add this book to your child’s reading list!
For more information on Five Funny Tummy Men, please visit the publisher's website at: www.peppertreepublishing.com
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