GIVE ME BACK MY BONES! by Kim Norman, Illustrated by Bob Kolar, Candlewick Press


A silly pirate skeleton seeks to put its bones back together in this rhyming romp beneath the waves.

Cast a spyglass ’round here
while breakers curl and pound here.
There’s treasure to be found here —
I feel it in my bones!

A stormy night at sea has uncovered some long-buried secrets and surprises. Is that the mast of a shipwreck? A faded pirate hat? And what’s that hiding in the sand? A mandible and a clavicle, phalanges and femurs, a tibia and a fibula — could there be a set of bones scattered across the ocean floor? And who might they belong to? A jaunty rhyme takes readers on an underwater scavenger hunt as a comical skeleton tries to put itself back together piece by piece. Make no bones about it: this rollicking read-aloud will have young ones learning anatomy without even realizing it.

Out July 2019

40 Pages Approx


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

I must admit that when I got this book, I thought it was a strange topic for a picture book. The anatomy and physiology of the human body is an intense and very advance topic. So the book sat for awhile. I did more research into the age groups surrounding picture books, early readers, easy reader classifications and the demographics for each. It was very revealing.

Picture books are quite useful for many age groups and reading levels. First readers should read picture books with short sentences, often times two-word sentences, done in verse, large print accompanied by big, bright illustrations.

The new thoughts are that readers who struggle with reading should use picture books because of their simplicity to overcome those struggles, even foregoing using easy readers or chapter books because those book have fewer illustrations (although that’s changing too). This makes sense. Shorter sentences, large print, easier language with accompanying illustrations are perfect! Special needs individuals regardless of their age and ability will also benefit from reading picture books for those same reasons.

Young readers of the picture book demographics are now using more advanced picture books to expand their vocabulary and move ahead with their reading. These picture books use dialogue in small paragraph formats, with harder wording, longer sentences and smaller print. Usually, but not often, these picture books are accompanied by more diagrams/pictures to help with word understanding and story processing.

I think with the introduction of “graphic novels,” and the use of pictures accompanying dialogue and story, the old thoughts about picture books being ‘too young’ has died at the wayside as long as they can help struggling readers to improve their reading skills; and, for those young readers moving along quickly, use a more advanced picture book to compliment their abilities. Many people, adults included, learn and enjoy more through visual stimulation. I think this is why a certain group of readers, including adults, like comic books and graphic novels.

Picture books, comic books and graphic novels are now moving into a new category of reading material and can be structured for different ages and learning abilities, along with moving them ahead faster because of the illustration/story format. Older children and adults were once thought to be poor readers because they preferred the illustrated learning/reading format. Now, new possibilities for learning have opened up because of this format.

The same could be said for video gamers. Those who played used to be just children and the games used to be very simplistic. With the introduction of animation, a whole new format of games was introduced to an older demographic. Eye to hand reaction times and the ability to problem solve improved immensely.

So, picture books had to change to keep up with the demand/need. This particular book is one of the more advanced picture books. In it, you learn about the human bone structure. This is done with a clever story involving a pirate’s skeleton and some sea creatures at the bottom of the sea. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but it’s done very well and will appeal to a young reader who is further along than others (future scientist or doctor, maybe?).  The ending is a hoot too!  Pay attention to the dedication too and you’ll see what I mean about the above.

This is a great educational book full of fun and adventure.

I gave it:



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