The seven sections within the book take us from the cells that form our foundation to the individual systems they build. Each beautifully illustrated spread details different aspects of our complex structure, explaining the function of each and offering up-close glimpses, unique cross-sections and perspectives, and even a little humor along the way.
This one-of-a-kind book can serve as a reference for children, families, teachers, and anyone who has questions about how his or her body works. When readers see how David Macaulay builds a body and explains the way it works, they will come away with a new appreciation of the amazing world inside them.
- ISBN-13: 9780618233786
- ISBN-10: 0618233784
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
- Publish Date: October 2008
- Page Count: 336
- Reading Level: Ages 11-14
- Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.15 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 55.
- Review Date: 2008-10-27
- Reviewer: Staff
A Caldecott Medalist and MacArthur Fellow, perhaps best known for his pithily written, illuminatingly illustrated The Way Things Work, Macaulay has devoted himself for years to this illustrated guide aimed at demystifying the workings of the human body. Picture book or not, adults may constitute a significant percentage of its eventual audience. The book is astonishingly comprehensive, beginning with the structure of a cell, traveling through various systems (e.g., respiratory, digestive, etc.) and ending with childbirth. Followers of Macaulay will expect some wit, and it is evident, not just in captions but in throwaways, as in an explanation of taste that acknowledges that smell is “the senior partner.” However, the writing is often highly technical (“When a nonsteroid hormone arrives at its target cell, it binds to a receptor protein projecting from the cell’s surface”). The full-color drawings may help readers understand the language, but despite the friendly format, with one topic per spread, this is not a book for casual browsing nor for most preteens. On the other hand, motivated teens will feel they’ve gone to premed heaven. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)
Two body books in one gift roundup? Yes, because this reviewer could not be induced to ignore either one. The first, The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Human Body is by David Macaulay. This in itself is reason enough to run out and buy it. Macaulay is a master of bringing intricate structures to vivid life, and he is no less suited to expose the human body than the buildings and machines he is famous for. Peppy, brilliant and oh-so-fun, Macaulay's latest ensures that kids (and grown-ups) finally stand a darn good chance of understanding this stuff for real.