Debut picture book author Blair Thornburgh and award-winning illustrator Scott Campbell put their heads together to celebrate one of the most important bones in your body: the skull!
You probably don’t think much about skulls. So what’s the big deal about them?
Well, every head of every person you’ve ever seen has a skull inside.
And that includes YOU!
This smart, skull-positive story cheerfully dispels any fears kids might have about their skeletons, flipping our view of skulls from a spooky symbol to a fascinating, cool, and crucial part of our bodies.
Blair Thornburgh is the author of several books for kids and teens. A graduate of the Hamline MFA Program in writing for children and young adults, she lives outside of Philadelphia. Visit her online at BlairThornburgh.com.
Scott Campbell’s paintings have appeared in numerous shows and publications around the world. He has created award-winning comics, such as “Igloo Head and Tree Head,” which appeared in the Flight anthology, and is the illustrator of Zombie in Love and Zombie in Love 2 + 1 by Kelly DiPucchio; East Dragon, West Dragon by Robyn Eversole; and If Dogs Run Free by Bob Dylan. He is the author and illustrator of Hug Machine. Scott lives in New York City. Visit him at PyramidCar.com.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (July 23, 2019)
Length: 40 pages
Grades: P - 3
Ages: 4 - 8
Lexile ® 600L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
"This highly entertaining disquisition reminds readers, things that seem frightening at first can become quite wonderful once you get to know them."
– Publisher's Weekly, April 8, 2019
"Balances gracefully on the edge between comically informative and spooky; audiences wary of scares may find the straightforward cheer reassuring, while those who embrace the skeletal dark side will still have plenty of bony visages to admire. . . . This has obvious potential for Halloween/Día de los Muertos use, but it also has entertaining year-round possibilities for kids to get into their own headspace—literally."
"With snappy writing Thornburgh describes a skull’s importance (it’s “a car seat for your brain”) and its functions (it gives a face its shape; it holds teeth in place; and more). . . . Campbell packs plenty of humor into his muted watercolor illustrations (the grim reaper sips from a juice box) in this jaunty paean to human skulls."
– The Horn Book
"A page of 'Cool Skull Facts!' opposite a final, fairly anatomically correct image gives this good odds of becoming a STEM and storytime favorite. Readers who have never thought of it before will agree: 'Take care of your skull, because you only get one.'"
– Kirkus Reviews
"Guaranteed to get kids giggling and proclaiming, 'I love my skull!'"
"Skulls may often be associated with death and mortality, but this life-affirming book is breezy and ebullient. You can say it again: Skulls were never more fun."
"The carefree tone and tidbits of humor, such as the girl’s love of grilled cheese sandwiches, make this an amusing introduction for young students of the human body."
– School Library Journal
"Campbell's sweetly absurd illustrations will help little ones learn not to fear the Reaper, whom he shows contentedly sipping a juice box. The quirky watercolor scenes support Thornburgh's offbeat narrative perfectly. . . . Between the popularity of Halloween and el Día de los Muertos, some families will find Skulls! a useful tool for comforting and educating young children who may find the holidays' skeleton-heavy imagery unsettling. Parents and teachers will also likely appreciate the list of skull facts in the end matter, ideal for engaging a skull's contents. This authoritatively positive demystification of cranial bones—with its recurring theme of grilled cheese appreciation--is sure to have preschool through early elementary-aged readers shouting, 'I love my skull!'"
– Shelf Awareness
"Amusing and engaging. Through clever comparisons (a skull is “a car seat for your brain”) and dialogue, the book brilliantly explains the purpose of this set of bones."
– Parents Magazine
Awards and Honors
Kentucky Bluegrass Award Master List
New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Reading List (PA)
Topaz Nonfiction Reading List (TX)
Beehive Award Nominee
Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award Nominee