Thursday, April 15, 2021

Cells at Work! Baby, Vol. 1 by Yasuhiro Fukuda


Educational manga might just be the sneakiest way to get kids to learn stuff yet! Between the manga retellings of classic literature and biology-focused ones like Cells at Work! and Heaven's Design Team, there's definitely an emerging trend of these visual lesson plans-in-book-form, and I am so here for it. Cells at Work! BABY is a spin-off of the main Cells at Work series, only it focuses on neonatal biology (and since they are the cells of a baby, the artist made the choice to draw them as itty bitty chibis! SO CUTE).

Beginning with pregnancy and ending with the baby just living its baby life, this manga comic is about a little red blood cell who ends up navigating the entire human body as she goes about her day to day duties as she's chased around by hemoglobin-F, who doesn't trust her not to slack off. Between fending off viral infections, bacterial invasions, and clogged up sweat glands, these cells have seen it all-- and they're ready to work, work, work, work, work. *cue Rihanna song*

So obviously, I really liked this. It was super fun and cute. As with Heaven's Design Team, scientific tidbits are introduced in little side panels to explain what is going on with fun trivia. It's very nonthreatening and super accessible. I think this book would be great for middle grade and up, although I think if you have a precocious younger reader, they could probably read this too as long as they had someone sitting with them to explain some of the harder words/concepts. I read the after note and the writer of the manga apparently consulted with a Japanese pediatrician who is a fan of manga and was happy to offer consultation, so this book is ~doctor approved~. Which I think is really neat.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars

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