Asimov's Science Fiction
...[A] guided [tour] of the human body replete with ground-breaking microphotography, colorized X-rays and dramatic drawings.
Children's Literature - Eileen Hanning
Seymour Simon explains complex scientific concepts in an elegant, readable, compelling way. Part of his series about the human body, this volume provides readers with an intriguing inside look at how muscles work. Simon starts out describing how muscles work on a skeletal and cellular level. Then he goes on to discuss the difference between voluntary, involuntary, and cardiac muscles, including in-depth discussion of various skeletal muscles. He completes his thorough exploration of the topic by describing how oxygen feeds muscles, how exercise changes muscles, and what happens when a muscle gets injured. True to form, Simon's text is supported by spectacular photographs and detailed drawings of muscle tissue. This impressive picture book will make a great addition to classroom and home libraries.
Children's Literature - Christine Hudak
Vibrant photographs, using computer imagery, bring the muscles of the human body alive for the young reader. The text conveys the intricate workings of the voluntary and involuntary muscles in the body, using a clear writing style. The various types of muscles: skeletal, smooth and cardiac, are discussed along with their contributions to movement from head to toe. The photographs, oftentimes full page, enhance this information by showing detail in their textures and structures. The care athletes take to use their muscles wisely through warm up exercises and how exercise impacts the body is noted quite succinctly. The techniques of detecting injuries to the muscles, such as CAT scan, SPECT and PET imaging are interesting, but are too briefly mentioned and may only confuse the reader. As in the previous books by Simon, the main drawback lies with the format in which there is a lack of both a Table of Contents and an Index. These are essential to help the young reader understand what information is covered and for easy reference. It is a highly visually stimulating book filled with information, but the young reader may need help if it is used as reference book.
The ALAN Review - Charles R. Duke
Seymour Simon is gradually working his way through the human body, having in prior books described the functions of the brain, the heart and bones. In this colorfully illustrated account of the human muscular system, he offers a straightforward discussion of how our muscles function. Although Simon uses basic anatomical terms, readers at the junior high level and above should have little difficulty comprehending his explanations. Accompanying the text are stunning photographs which, by themselves, offer a unique and fascinating view into the muscular activity of the human. Of particular interest is an MIR scan and a CAT scan which add vivid color, as well as a unique perspective. Students will find this book an enjoyable and informative supplement to their science books which may address some of the same material, but not with this amount of vividness.
Continuing his journey through the human body, Simon (The Brain, 1997, etc.) presents muscles in living color, with dramatic close-up and computer-imaged photographs. Readers learn about three common muscle types: skeletal, the striated kind; smooth muscles, found lining the stomach and intestines; and the unique cardiac muscle, the heart. Describing each type of muscle, its appearance, location, and function, Simon surprises readers with the factsþthat muscles make up forty percent of human body weight, that each muscle is a single cell, and more. While the captions do not explain the degree of magnification used in the photography, the pictures invite readers to explore statements in the text, i.e., the striation of voluntary muscles compared to involuntary muscles, or the proximity of the diaphragm to the rib cage. (Picture book. 10-12)