How often do we find a picture book that combines rhyme with genetics? Hmmmm….never! Until now.
Why aren’t you fuzzy like a dog,
or buzzy like a bee?
Why can’t you eat ants with your nose,
or breathe beneath the sea?
Questions lead to questions until we start getting answers:
Now when you think of life that grows
with leaves or fur or wings,
cells are the tiny building blocks
of all earth’s living things.
And in the center of each cell,
too small for eyes to see,
there lie detailed instructions
for what it’s supposed to be.
Cue the standing ovation for Rajani’s smooth, rhyming text explaining the science behind DNA and what makes us US in a way that kids can absorb!
Back matter includes just the right amount of additional information about genetics and a BONUS Banana DNA experiment that allows kids to synthesize and see DNA up close and personal. Steven Salerno’s energetic and colorful illustrations add to the fun of learning. A great resource for parents and teachers!
Do the DNA experiment from the back of the book.
Make your own DNA helix. Or one that’s color-coded. A model for older kids.
Make two different lists of traits that you share with each of your parents, such as eye, hair, or skin color; whether you can curl your tongue in the shape of a tube; whether cilantro tastes like soap to you; or whether your thumbs are double-jointed. Can you see how you get different traits from each of your parents? Are there any traits that you share with a grandparent that may have skipped your parent?
Title: The Secret Code Inside You: All About Your DNA
Author: Rajani LaRocca
Illustrator: Steven Salerno
Publisher: Little Bee, 2021
Themes: STEM, DNA, personal agency
Ages: Elementary school
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s website.
16 thoughts on “The Secret Code Inside You – Perfect Picture Book Friday”
Just finding a well-rhymed text is treasure indeed. Clever concept.
Yes, it is! Such a pleasure to read.
You’re right, I’ve never seen a book like this for young children. It gives just the right amount of information that kids can think about. I love your activities as they add to the story in a very concrete way. Thanks for sharing this clever book!
Thanks, Patricia! I hope it gets read widely!
Wait! Are you telling me not everyone can roll their tongue in the shape of a tube? Well, I’m gobsmacked! Is eyebrow raising genetically inherited too?
😳 I suggest you poll your friends. See what the distribution of tongue rollers in within that subset of the population. Please report back. Eyebrow raising, I believe is nurture, not nature, LOL.
OOOhhhh this is another on my to read list! Looks fabulous!
Yes, It’s a winner!
I agree – very clever book!
I think Rajani said the rhyme (in service to the story, of course, instead of the other way around) was particularly difficult. And I can believe it.
Very unique. Super clever. I want to read this.
Great addition to your library!
I like the way thsi book makes this idea & topic accessible for kids (and adults!).
Yes! Rajani really found a way in on a complex topic.
There are definitely times I wish I were furry – especially as the winter draws nigh. What a wonderful book by Rajani.
I am jealous of our dog, who waits patiently while we put on the coats and shoes. It does seem so much easier to have the fur. But then she’s at a disadvantage in hot weather. This book is a terrific mentor text for presenting STEM in rhyme, a tough order, as you know.