Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Review of Bill Kirk's "Once Upon an Eyeball—How the Nose Knows Roses," illustrated by Eugene Ruble

Once Upon an Eyeball—How the Nose Knows Roses, by Bill Kirk, illustrated by Eugene Ruble, is the tenth and last book in his informative “The Sum of Our Parts” book series on the body. His other books are listed at the end of this review.

In this installment, Bill Kirk first presents what happens when an eyelash falls onto the eyeball. The story event is presented in rhyme, with interesting “Factoids” about the eye and vision—how the eye communicates with the brain. Plus the illustrations on each page show how the body reacts to each stimulus encountered.

Once upon an eyeball,
An eyelash slowly fell.
It drifted down so lightly
That one could hardly tell.

The brain went into action—
Fired signals left and right.
The eyelids started blinking
Then closed themselves up tight.

The rhymes are fun entertainment. The pictures are humorous at times, but clear and exact when scientific information and illustration is required. And the factoids satisfy our need to know in greater detail how the eye tells the brain what it sees and feels. I especially like that the illustrations show girls and boys, men and women.

In the second half of the book, Mr. Kirk (and Mr. Ruble) tell and show what happens when you smell a rose, or other smells. The rhyme asks the question:

When smelling a flower,
If you were a nose,
How would you know
That a rose is a rose?

Then the explanation talks about the process of smelling something—the sweet, the rotten, the awful—then how the brain “catalogs” it for future reference. Years later you’ll be able to recall the memory of the smell and often call up scenes of where and when that smell occurred.

Eugene Ruble’s artwork faithfully depicts what’s happening in the body when seeing and smelling.  He uses a playful pastel color scheme. In keeping with the humorous vein of the rhymes, some artwork is teasing, funny, and cute. The scientific illustrations are clearly presented.

For years, my daughter has played the “Did you know?” game followed by some trivia fact. This would be a good book series for kids who like to sprinkle their conversations with facts about body parts and how they function.
This is an appropriate and appealing body parts book series recommended for teachers, school and city libraries, hospitals, medical and dental offices—and for home libraries of “future” doctors and dentists!

The Sum of Our Parts Book Series is published by www.guardianangelpublishing.com

and available from www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com and other quality online book sellers. Here are the other body parts books in the series:

Product DetailsA Brainy Refrain:  The Sum of Our Part Series, Book 1
Product DetailsNo Bones About It:  The Sum of Our Part Series, Book 2
 Product DetailsCirculation Celebration:  The Sum of Our Part Series, Book 3
 Product DetailsMuscles Make Us Move:  The Sum of Our Parts Series, Book 4
Product DetailsMy Tooth Is Loose:  The Sum of Our Parts Series, Book 5
Product DetailsThe Skin We're In:  The Sum of Our Parts Series, Book 6
Product DetailsThe Ins and Outs of Air:  The Sum of Our Parts Series, Book 7
 Product DetailsGreat Gobs Of Gustation:  The Sum of Our Parts Series, Book 8
Product DetailsTissue Tantra:  The Sum of Our Parts Series, Book 9

Image of Bill KirkFrom Bill Kirk’s Amazon Author Bio:  “Asking children's writer Bill Kirk why he writes his stories in rhyme, he will tell you rhyme gives a story its feel, like working with clay at a wheel. Do you like the sound of iambic beat and the rich texture of rhymes that roll off your tongue? Take one of Bill Kirk's stories home with you. Travel with your children on a rhythmic journey of action and everyday adventure.”

More information on author Bill Kirk is at:  www.billkirkwrites.com

Artist Eugene Ruble holds an Associates Degree in Fine Arts from Forest Park Community College and a degree in Multi-Media and Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis. He has creates award-winning, mixed-media sculptures and engravings. Mr. Ruble also illustrates children’s books for Guardian Angel Publishing.

Tags:  Bill Kirk, Eugene Ruble, Eyes, Nose, Smells, Body Parts, 


  1. Thanks so much for the kind words and super review of Eyes/Nose, Penny. Thanks, also, to Lynda for sticking with it through thick and thin. Overall, the series has stretched my brain a bit---some might say too far. It's a nice feeling to see it through to the end.

    1. Hi Bill, it's a great series. I think it needs to be where kids can read and appreciate it - all libraries, plus medical and dental offices It's good to stretch one's brain! Keep up the good work!

  2. All of Bill Kirk's books are both educational and fun.

    1. Hi Jan, Thanks for your comment! Bill is the master rhymer and anatomy expert!

  3. Another fun way to learn all about our bodies! Congratulations to author and illustrator!

    1. Hi Nancy, Yes, this is s great series. I asked Bill what he'll do next -- like take a break! Wishing much success.

  4. Thanks to each of you for stopping by to check out Penny's review as well as my Memorial Day blog entry. To Penny's comment, yes, I'll be taking a break from body parts for a while. There is always plenty of ground to cover from head to toe. But the series is probably enough to tease any aspiring doctors out there.

    On other fronts, my neglected blogs and my website need some attention. And I have a long and wandering seafaring rhyme I have been working on for so long one would think I should be finished. But it seems to have hit the writing equivalent of the doldrums and the ending remains elusive. Looking forward to a fresh creative breeze to fill the sails.

    1. Hi Bill, I have several writing projects that are languishing, too. Never enough time, it seems. Wishing you "happy wayfaring" and writing. (I sailed for many years, though not lately.) Warmest regards!

  5. Great review, Penny! Congratulations, Bill and Eugene. Looking forward to reading this book.


    1. Hi Karin, thanks for your nice comments. Wishing them both lots of success with the series!

  6. Thanks for the great review, Penny. Bill and Eugene make a good team for these entertaining and informative books.

    1. Hi Connie, thanks for your sweet comments. Yes, they have a great series - a great accomplishment!