John Wood, My Body, Your Body: Skin, illustrated by Danielle Jones

Booklife Publishing, 2019, ISBN 978-1-78637-741-8

This is part of a new series for young children by Booklife, Your Body, My Body. The stated aim of the series is to explore 'all the ways our bodies are different and wonderful'. The stylised, colourful images of a variety of body parts on the cover demonstrate from the start that this is an unusual and striking publication. The illustrations on the opening page are of an enormous, simplified face in profile next to a person lying down. The text reads: 'This is my skin. And that is your skin. We ALL have skin. The subsequent page shows a feather landing on an extended finger. 'This skin is soft, just like feathers and fluff.' On the next page we see 'skin that is hard. It is bumpy and rough.' Succeeding double page spreads operate in a similar way: short rhyming sentences in large, clear font, illustrated with unusual pictures that just hint at realism. We see skin of many different colours, we see skin that is smooth and skin that is wrinkled, skin that is freckled, skin that is sunburnt, skin that is itchy, skin with patches of white. We see a birthmark, a scar, tattoos. 'Some grown-ups' skin has got drawings or words or beautiful pictures or things they have heard.'

The words on the final page and the very diverse nature of the accompanying illustrations are further indication of the inclusivity of the book, and its positive tone: 'We would go on. Oh, if only we could! All skin is different and lovely and good.' An intriguing book, with very welcome messages and a very innovative design.