I have a friend who is a Navy SEAL turned Dr. of physiology and chiropractic. He's written a children's novel concerning physiology to teach kids about good posture and how participating in activities in a physically correct manner is beneficial. Sounds crazy, but he's managed to do it and make it cool. For instance, learning to push your scooter with both feet (one at a time of course) helps your overall balance....both legs are strengthened, not just the side you favor, and this helps in playing sports, etc. He wants to include a DVD with the book to demonstrate the techniques. Can you give him a little guidance about querying
agents/publishing houses? It's fiction, but is full of non-fiction, teaching elements. Any advice you have on how to proceed with this would be greatly appreciated.
Your friend needs to fully grasp two facts about the business.
1. Absolutely no one is going to buy a novel for its nonfiction physiology content. And when I say "no one" I mean no agent, no editor, no parent, and no child. These people will only buy it if it is a good story, well told.
2. There is a not large but meaningful section of slush made up entirely of yahoos who are committed to explaining the importance of their chosen careers to children (eg tax audits, cosmology... remember these?). Their manuscripts are universally awful. So: your friend does not want to be mistaken for one of them.
Most of us are familiar with the expression "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down". (Some of us, in fact, can't think of this expression without hearing Julie Andrews in our heads. Damn Mary Poppins.) It's important for your friend to recognize that what he has here is medicine. Physiology is not the big, bitter pill that "Insurance Structures and Their Importance to You" would be (as a completely random example), but it is still a pill. In order for this manuscript to succeed, he must have wrapped the information so completely in a story that children want to consume that the teaching component is indistinguishable.
And what this means to his queries and cover letters is most likely something he won't want to hear: he shouldn't mention the physiology content at all. He should query and submit this just like he would if it were a story written for its own sake, because if the manuscript does not work on the strength of the story alone, it will. not. sell.
You didn't mention why he felt a novel would be a better vector for this information than a nonfiction manuscript. Personally, I think it's an odd choice. Still, I never say never. Good luck!