Give Me Back My Bones! by K. Norman


  • Sean Borle



Norman, Kim. Give Me Back My Bones! Illustrated by Bob Kolar. Candlewick Press, 2019.

This book is a blend of fun and education. A pirate skeleton, whose bones have been spread across the ocean floor, wants to reclaim them. He “claim[s] his clavicle” and “hanker[s] for [his] humerus.” The text is a poem filled with surprising and creative descriptions of what the individual bones do: “Who can spot my shoulder blade, / my shrugging jacket-holder blade, / my shiver-when-I’m-colder blade? / Oh, scapula, come back!”

The text is printed on Bob Kolar’s simple, bright,  two-dimensional illustrations. There are some fun things to find in the illustrations. For example, when the pirate is looking for his hand-bones, we see them in the sand, hidden among hand-shaped corals. A squid returns his arm-bones.  In some images fish peer at him suspiciously as he slowly collects his missing parts. 

As an educational work, this book is excellent. The front end papers show all of the disconnected bones with their names. The back end papers show the whole skeleton together with the bones named. Because it is a jaunty poem and fun to read, children will want to re-read it and will eventually memorize it. As a by-product of fun, they will learn what metacarpals and phalanges are. 

This book is highly recommended for pediatricians’ offices, as well as public and school libraries.

Highly Recommended:  4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer:  Sean C. Borle

Sean C. Borle is a University of Alberta student in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry who is an advocate for child health and safety.



How to Cite

Borle, S. (2020). Give Me Back My Bones! by K. Norman. The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature, 9(2).



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