Crust & Spray: Gross Stuff in Your Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat by C.S. Larsen

40935669Lynn: Unfortunately the flu is spreading fast. Children are worried too and it is important to provide them with accurate information. This new book in the Gross Body Science series is about the body’s defenses and reactions to minute invaders. Crust and Spray (Lerner/Millbrook 2009) addresses this timely subject with humor and a high grossness factor appealing to kids while also providing solid information. The first chapter is titled Boogers, Snot and Sneezing and provides this icky but fascinating fact: our noses and sinuses produce about a quart of mucus every day. Yuck! Highly magnified pictures of ear wax, dust mites, and phlegm make this a book you don’t want to read over breakfast. Kids will find all this wonderfully disgusting but they will learn a lot too. (If even one child learns how and why to cough hygienically, it’s definitely worth the price) ūüėČ Cartoon sketches and close up photographs of noses, ears and eyes round out a book kids, especially boys, won’t be able to resist.

Gross Fact #2. Did you know that when you sneeze, the air (and snot) in your nose can come out at 100 miles per hour? Ew! Please sneeze into your elbow!

Cindy: Wish I’d read Lynn’s post before reading this book over coffee this morning. I nearly sent my coffee flying from my mouth at 100 miles per hour when I came across the picture of an infected ear oozing green stuff. Yuck! She always claims she reads like a 12-year-old boy, and when she recommends books like this one, I am sure she is right. This series is great, though, and kids will learn a lot about their bodies and how they function. Besides teaching vocubulary, the author encourages kids to use it in class. “Sputum alert! Sputum alert!” or “I’m going to sternutate!” That ought to turn some heads! The earwax section grossed me out the most, though, and reminded me of the Halloween my sisters-in-law dressed in light blue leotards and put cotton batten wigs on with peanut butter smeared on them, attending the costume party as dirty Q-tips! Double yuck.

Upper elementary and younger middle school kids will love this book with it’s interesting and funny writing and the zany drawings, photos, and computer generated art. Those who like this volume have more fun in store with the other books in the Gross Body Science series:

  • Clot & Scab: Gross Stuff about Your Scrapes, Bumps, and Bruises
  • Hawk & Drool: Gross Stuff in Your Mouth
  • Itch & Ooze: Gross Stuff on Your Skin
  • Rumble & Spew: Gross Stuff in Your Stomach and Intestines

nonfictionmondayThank you to Bookstogether for hosting this week’s Nonfiction Monday blog roundup!



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

5 Comments on "Crust & Spray: Gross Stuff in Your Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat by C.S. Larsen"

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  1.' Carol Hinz says:

    Thanks for the review! If your readers have kids or work with kids between ages 5 and 14, I’d like to invite them to take part in our Gross Body Science Draw a Germ Contest here: The winner will get a free book and a piece of disgusting artwork from illustrator Michael Slack!

  2. Carol, thanks for the alert. What a fun contest. I loved the germ personalities that Michael did for the book.–Cindy

  3.' C.S. Larsen says:

    Thanks for the great review! Glad you enjoyed the book!

  4. This is a perfect book for my daughter who is so into how the body works. Thanks for sharing.

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