Give Me Back My Bones!

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K. Norman, author. Bob Kolar, illustrator. Candlewick Press, 2019


Anatomy is at its funnest in Give Me Back My Bones!

Bones are stirred up on the ocean floor after a stormy night at sea, prompting a skeleton to start rebuilding itself. As bones are collected, their seafaring uses are woven into the rhyming text.

I’m grasping for some hand bones,

my wave-ahoy-to-land bones

or dig-a-hole-in-sand bones –

I miss my metacarpals.

Don’t be fooled as I initially was, this picture book that teaches the proper names of bones holds oodles of child appeal. Most pages hint that a certain character is being rebuilt, but it’s not until the final page turn that a pirate is revealed. This caused commotion in my house as my daughters flipped backwards through the pages to discover what they’d missed, like the spyglass in the sand, earring hooked on coral, and peg leg entwined in an octopus arm.

The humour and details in the underwater illustrations by Bob Kolar aren’t fully appreciated until the pages of this picture book are poured over again. We chuckled at the fish carrying the mandible (jaw) with their own mandible and delighted in finding metacarpals (hand bones) among the corals.

Words and pictures unite on the final page to tie this story up perfectly–picture book endings don’t get any better.

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