Editorial Review

A noteworthy review of The Human Body from Booklist on February 1, 2004

These two titles in the new basic biology series, the Human Body, provide an unusually sound overview of a topic represented in most upper-elementary science curricula. Each book opens with a child performing a familiar activity—running a race, playing a video game—that introduces the featured system in a concrete way. This tactic reflects Gray’s consistently child-centered approach, which is reinforced by clear, vivid explanations: blood cells move through capillaries so tiny they travel ‘in single file,’ and the nervous system ‘shoots’ out electrical signals that then ‘zoom’ to their destinations. Features on intriguing topics, such as a spread about hemophilia (‘the royal disease’) and another about people with unusually abundant taste buds, enrich the core materials. Subtract a few points for the haphazard glossaries, some unprofessional looking diagrams, and curiously generous leading, but the high standard of the explication still carries the day. Further reading and other resources, including Internet links accessible on the publisher’s Web site, are appended to each volume.

—Jennifer Mattson

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