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Ti a Dy Gorff - Adam Kay [adapt. Eiry Miles]

*For Welsh review, see language toggle button*

(suggested) reading age: 9+

*section on reproduction - parental discretion advised if young children reading

(suggested) interest age: 9-14

Illustrations: Henry Paker

Forget those boring biology lessons – this is the only book you’ll ever need about the human body. Its insides are bursting with amusing facts and funny doodles. Also, by the end you'll know loads of things you didn't before, and you won't even realize you're learning something!

The greatest machine there ever was

Have you ever thought about how amazing the human body is? It's like a power station, computer, machine and factory rolled into one; working extremely effectively and efficiently most of the time. And on those occasions when things go wrong, it even has the ability to repair itself! Wow, that’s pretty cool you’ve got to admit.

Before any parents or science teachers start complaining thinking the content won’t be ‘sciency’ enough because the author’s a comedian, well, it may surprise you to learn that he was indeed a real doctor once upon a time. So you can rest assured that he knows what he’s talking about. This isn't like reading those dusty old textbooks at school, because this book is written in a light-hearted and funny style. Despite its humorous tone, it's an incredibly comprehensive and informative resource. At first glance, it looks like an extremely bulky book, but the contents are so easy to read. Henry Paker's cartoon illustrations add to the fun and break the text into shorter, easier-to-read bits.

A complete (and disgusting!) guide

Taking us around the human body in all its glory, the author is extremely thorough, seeking the views of a number of experts along the way. We visit a number of different parts of the body, including the main organs, bones, muscles and skin to name just a few.

As someone who has always liked his food, I really enjoyed the bits that discuss the digestive system and the foods’ journey all the way from the mouth, until it comes out of the other end in the rectum (yes, I'm following the book’s example and using the correct scientific terms). It’s not every book that can boast that it has a whole section devoted to discussing poo! (or faeces to be absolutely correct) A few people will like those toilet-related pages I’m sure.

It's worth noting that, like any decent book that discusses the body, it does have a section on the reproductive system. So of course, there are a couple of diagrams that discuss organs such as the vulva, clitoris, penis and testicles, along with an overview of the way it all works. I firmly believe that it’s important for children to get this correct information, to avoid misunderstandings or misconceptions from schoolyard conversations. Having said this, it will be up to individual parents to decide if the content is suitable. (In my opinion as a teacher, it is.)

Is snot okay to eat?

If you've ever laid in bed pondering life’s big questions, it's quite possible you'll find the answers in this book. You know, big philosophical questions like ‘Is snot safe to eat?’ Or ‘how much of your life have you spent sitting on the toilet?’ With mini-sections like 'Kay's questions' and 'True or False’ you’ll probably find the answer to a question you never thought to ask!

After wolfing down Ti a Dy Gorff and devouring it from cover to cover, I've come to the conclusion that the human body is incredibly strange. But I've also realised that it's absolutely miraculous and amazing too, so please take care of your body – you’ll only ever get the one! There are plenty of top tips on how to do this within.

If I've managed to persuade you that this book is awesome, then do yourself a massive favour - feed your brain with the knowledge within this handy guide. Go forth and get your mitts on a copy, ready to get under the bonnet of the most amazing machine there ever was – the human body.

I'm delighted that books like this are being adapted into Welsh. This was exactly the kind of book that ten-year-old me would have loved! To be fair, 32-year-old me loves it too!

Review from, used by permission of Welsh Books Council


Publisher: Rily

Released: 2023

Price: £8.99

Format: Softcover



Adam Kay is an award-winning writer and former non-award-winning junior doctor. His first book, This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, was a Sunday Times number-one bestseller for over a year and has sold over 2.5 million copies. It has been translated into 37 languages, was the winner of four National Book Awards, including Book of the Year, and has been adapted into a major comedy drama for BBC/AMC starring Ben Whishaw. His second book, Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas, was an instant Sunday Times number-one bestseller and sold over 500k copies in its first few weeks. His compilation, Dear NHS, raised over £400k for charity. His memoir Undoctored: The Story of a Medic Who Ran Out of Patients was published in September 2022. His first children's book, Kay's Anatomy, was published in October 2020 and became the fastest-selling children's general non-fiction hardback of the decade and rights across Kay's Anatomy and Kay's Marvellous Medicine have now been sold in 28 languages.


'The sort of book I would have loved as a child' - Malorie Blackman

'Like listening to a teacher who makes pupils fall about' - The Times

'Absolutely packed with facts... Entertaining and highly informative' - Daily Mail

'As brilliant, and revolting, as the human body it celebrates' - The i newspaper

'Totally brilliant!' - Jacqueline Wilson

'If only this funny and informative book had been around when I was too embarrassed to teach my kids about bodily functions' - David Baddiel


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