"THE SUM OF OUR PARTS (Book One): No Bones About It"


"Did you know that an average person experiences two bone breaks during their lifetime? Or which body part is a "sesamoid bone in a ligament trap"? You would if you had read this book. It takes learning about the skeletal system to a whole new level.

Each page is divided into 5 parts, which include illustrations of bones, a close up of where the bone fits into the skeleton, various factoids (definition, interesting facts), as well as a four line rhyme. For example:

Without all our bones,
We'd be shapeless and blobby-
Just skin, guts and muscles,
All gooey and globby.

Pretty basic stuff, at first anyway. Then, you get something like this:

Patella's a "floater"
That's called the knee cap-
A sesamoid bone
In a ligament trap.

There is a very large amount of information provided, but it is not overwhelming. The illustrations are extremely creative (giving the bones 'faces' and expressions). It was different from any other approaches to this topic that I have seen, and my boys loved it. I was impressed with the amount of information that stuck with them several days after reading the book. There were also several pages of bonus and reference materials included. Overall, we though that this was a creative resource that presented basic information in a unique way, and I am sure we will refer back to it often. (Tuesday, September 29, 2009 by Charla Miley on the "For What It's Worth" Blog)

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This rhyming book to help children learn more about their bones takes the dull art of learning and turns it into fun. "No Bones About It" is just one in a series of THE SUM OF OUR PARTS books by Bill Kirk. Listing bones from bottom to top and learning their names and what they do becomes easier with Kirk's witty rhymes; and when put together with the superb illustrations by Eugene Ruble, you've got a real winner.

Each page includes factoids about bones: the long and the short ones, the flat and the irregular ones. Kids learn which bone is the longest and which is the shortest. How many bones are in each hand? Your son or daughter will be able to tell you after reading "No Bones About It". There's also a neat mystery bones quiz that asks readers to identify the pictures of bones found on each page of the book. Learning just doesn't get any more fun than this! (Thursday, August 20, 2009 by Cheryl Malandrinos)

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" 'The Sum of Our Parts: No Bones About It', by Bill Kirk is a delightful introduction to the skeleton. The text is in rhyme and names most of the bones of the body. This would be a fun and easy way for a child to memorize the names of bones. The margins contain "factoids" with more even more information about the skeleton. This is a book we will surely read over and over! I love anything that makes memorization more fun!"(Saturday, September 12, 2009 on "Debbie's Homeschool Corner" Blog)

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" 'No Bones About It' by Bill Kirk - This book is set in rhyme, making it a very neat way to learn the names of our bones. Each page includes an illustration of the bones being described and four lines of rhyming verse to help a child memorize the names of the bones. Also included are some interesting "factoids" that relate various bits of information about the human skeleton. The book is interesting and the rhyme is a very neat idea." (Friday, October 2, 2009 on "Tonia's Sunny Patch" Blog)

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"This (book) could not have arrived on our computer doorstep, at a more timely moment. Just a few weeks prior to its arrival, our eldest son had broken his collar bone, 2 ribs and his shoulder blade. So when my youngest and I read the part about clavicle being one of the most frequently broken bones in the body-we simply nodded our heads in agreement. In fact, for a moment we felt the book was written just for our family. This one is penned in rhyme, to teach children the names of the main bones in the body. I read it 2 times before I even realized this...that is how subtle it is. But effective, because I found myself saying a lot of the lines without much review."(Friday, September 20, 2009 by Sheri Hagemann on the "100 plus 25 TOS Crew Reviews" Blog)

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" 'No Bones About It' teaches the scientific names of many of the bones in the human body by setting them to an engaging rhyme. In addition to the rhyming text, there are also "factoids" on every page containing extra information about bones, fractures, calcium, and vitamin D. The book is humorously illustrated with cartoon bones. I think the rhyming nature of this book would make it very effective for memorizing names of bones. My younger children listened and were very attentive as I read."(Thursday, October 8, 2009 by Kristen on "A Day In The Life" Blog)

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'No Bones About It' by Bill Kirk is a book designed to help children memorize the names of the bones in the body. The book is written in rhyme and begins with the toes or phalanges and ends with the cranial and facial bones. The book also includes factoids in the margin of the pages that include information about your bones. For example, bones are red blood cell factories and astronauts lose as much bone mass from their hips in one month in space as an elderly woman loses over the course of a year. I think that this is a great concept to put into a book. Children memorize quickly. There are several rhyming books that our children have memorized cover to cover, how wonderful to use that gift to enable them to memorize useful information. The book is recommended for ages 8 - 13.
(Friday, October 2, 2009 by Kimberly on the "Raising Olives" Blog)

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Posted by Kathie Langston at
Friday, October 9, 2009

Fun New Series Ahead

When I started my first college course in human anatomy and physiology, I was immediately fascinated with the subject. But I remember wondering why I didn't learn more about it in middle and high school science.

I later had the opportunity to work at a middle school in Idaho as a substitute teacher for a general A and P class. I was happy to see it offered in their curriculum and I enjoyed assisting the science teacher immensely.

So the minute I saw Bill Kirk's book and the wonderful illustrations by Eugene Rubble, I decided the upcoming series would be an excellent tool for teachers, school libraries and home school programs. "The Sum of Our Parts: No Bones About It..." is the first book in a series of nine anatomical picture books written in rhyme about various body parts and systems for readers age 8-13. The next book in that series, "Circulation Celebration" is about the circulatory system and is due out probably in December or January. I'm looking forward to buying the series as each book is published.

Bill says that although his other two books are both fiction, they are also loaded with "non-fiction" factoids about spiders ("There's A Spider In My Sink!") and ants ("My Grandma's Kitchen Rules!").

You can read more about Bill and his books at or at . Bill's books can also be ordered from Guardian Angel Publishing.

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In this educational picture book, kids will have fun while they learn about their skeletal system. Written in rhyming verse with additional "factoids", readers will be given a good introduction to the bones in their body. This is a great way to get across need to know information. I bet as you read along you will easily grasp the material. Illustrations abound, and include examples of the bones being taught.

Here's an excerpt:

"And, now, count your ribs-a ticklish lot.
Ten Pairs are connected and two pairs are not.
Without all your bones, you'd be in a fix.
Let's face it. You need all two-hundred and six."

Here's a sample of a factoid:

"Researchers estimate that the amount of bone mass lost
in an astronautís hip bones during a one month space flight
is the equivalent of what an elderly woman would lose in an
entire year on earth. Thatís why astronauts exercise in space
every day to help keep their bones healthy."

You'll also find at the end an illustration of a complete skeleton, with all the major bones conveniently identified. When you've finished reading you can test your knowledge by labeling a blank skeleton. I'm impressed by how much information is packed in this 28 paged book. No Bones About it - this is one book that will appeal to a wide audience of child readers! Thanks to the author for providing me with a PDF of this book for review. Regarding the Sum of our parts series, there are more books planned that will cover several body systems such as muscles, skin, circulation, respiration and others. According to the publisher, "The entire collection will be "kid-friendly" with just the right balance of technical content, humorous verses and anatomical factoids, brought to life through the playful illustrations of artist Eugene Ruble." Bill has published some additional picture books for children, all can be found at his website: (Reviewed by Kathy Davis, Monday, December 21, 2009 on the Homeschool Buzz Blog)

For more information on how you can purchase "No Bones About It", go to the Guardian Angel Publishing bookstore.

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