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Children's Nonfiction Biology

It's All in Your Head

A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain

by (author) Sylvia Funston & Jay Ingram

illustrated by Gary Clement

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2005
Biology, Experiments & Projects
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2005
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2005
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 6


It’s All in Your Head introduces readers to the mysteries and wonders of the brain and its myriad connections to the outside world through the senses, emotions, memory and thought. Using examples that kids can easily relate to (like a jelly bean taste test), and an interactive approach (Left Brain and Right Brain Workouts), the very latest scientific knowledge available on the subject of the brain is thoroughly explored. Features of the book include “Try This” experiments for hands-on learning, “Brain Benders” to get deductive muscles working at full power, and a “Users Guide to the Brain” provides a simple and accurate map of this mass of grey matter.

About the authors

SYLVIA FUNSTON is an acclaimed and award-winning children’s science writer and a founding editor of OWL Magazine. She has written numerous science books for children, including the Strange Science series and The Kids' Horse Book. She lives in Lydbrook, England.

Sylvia Funston's profile page

JAY INGRAM was the host of Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet from its first episode until June 2011. Prior to joining Discovery, Ingram hosted CBC Radio’s national science show Quirks & Quarks. He has received the Sandford Fleming Award from the Royal Canadian Institute, the Royal Society of Canada’s McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science and the Michael Smith Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. He is the recipient of the 2015 Walter C. Alvarez Award from the American Medical Writers Association. He is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Alberta, has received five honorary doctorates and is a member of the Order of Canada. He has written fourteen books, including the bestselling Theatre of the Mind and Fatal Flaws.

Jay Ingram's profile page

Gary Clement is an author and illustrator of children’s books who won the Governor General’s Award for The Great Poochini and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Just Stay Put. He has also illustrated A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King and Stories from Adam and Eve to Ezekiel by Celia Barker Lottridge. He is the editorial cartoonist for the National Post, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Toronto where he regularly exhibits his drawings and paintings.

Gary Clement's profile page


  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice Selection
  • Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year
  • Winner, Canadian Science Writers' Association, Science in Society Award
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice Selection

Editorial Reviews

A kids’ book about the brain? Probably only long-time science journalist Jay Ingram and Sylvia Funston, former editor-in-chief of Owl and Chickadee magazines, could pull this off.

Ottawa Citizen

Funston and Ingram write in a clear, easy-to-understand style.

Books in Canada

It’s All in Your Head gives extensive coverage of the complicated topic of the brain, while bringing it to life with wonderful eye-catching cartoon style illustrations and snippets of information lining the margins that capture the reader’s attention.

Resource Links

As you read [It’s All in Your Head], you’ll have fun, do some brain research on yourself, and discover answers to questions you didn’t even know you had…this 64-page paperback book explores all the major parts of our brains with beautiful illustrations and photos.

Odyssey Magazine

Activities, tricks and brain-teasers keep the book’s fun-level high.

Tree House Family Magazine

An excellent book definitely worthy of this year’s (1994) Science in Society Children’s Book Award.

Canadian Science Writers’ Association

Such an inventive combination of information and image makes this a kind of comic book that you can’t help learning from. Yet another in a series of truly reliable and pleasurable science books from Owl.

Quill & Quire

It’s All in Your Head presents brain function in an engaging fashion, with frequent asides to maintain interest.


Full of hands-on experiments and brain bender tests, this book is so engaging that parents may learn a few things themselves.

Canadian Living

Written with humor and wit, and brilliantly illustrated.

London Free Press

Books like [It’s All In Your Head: A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain] lift science from its dry and factual flowerbed.

The Vancouver Sun

Science was never this fun when I was a kid. This superb book, which is guaranteed to make the brain come alive, is highly recommended.

Canadian Book Review Annual

This excellent introduction should be a first purchase for most libraries.

School Library Journal

Each section includes activities and brain benders that will appeal to children of all ages…The information is current and relevant and could be used to address or complement several curriculum expectations, from the five senses in Grades 2 and 3 to other health topics in the older grades.

Professionally Speaking

Together, Funston and Ingram have created a fascinating compendium of facts about the function of the human brain, and have made it most appealing to children. The variety of colorful and humorous illustrations by Gary Clement, along with several excellent photographs, combine to create strong visual appeal.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

Librarian Reviews

It’s All in Your Head: A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain

First published in 1994 as A Kid’s Guide to the Brain by Owl Books (Our Choice 1994)

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2006.

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