Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Way We Work: Human Body - Ages 10+

It’s surely the nonfiction event of the year—David Macaulay’s The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body. No wonder he won a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation, which in part allowed him to complete this 336-page event, I mean book. Really, all you can say is “wow”—at the structural magnificence that is the human body and at Macaulay’s dramatic, clear drawings conveying every detail. Like a 21st-century Leonardo da Vinci, though presumably without the real corpses, he gets inside us and dissects like mad, and not for his own edification (like Leo), but ours. This tome has tremendous amounts of info, boiled down to its essence, and obviously thoroughly vetted by experts. Kids who persist with the somewhat textbook-y text, co-written with Richard Walker, will learn how we pick up an apple, breathe, think, blink, digest, reproduce, and everything else the body does. To me the most interesting of the seven chapters was “Battle Stations,” about the way we try to fight off flu and other threats. I would think this book would be of special interest to kids who have had anything go wrong with their bodies, but it's also a gift for budding biologists, and anyone who likes to browse (Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin, ages 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18). FROM:

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