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Children's LiteratureIn the "The Amazing Body" series, this book is perhaps the most important since it describes the organ that controls everything one does! The brain, a three-pound, soft, wrinkled, gray mass in the top half of the head, is the boss for the entire body. There are three main sections of the brain. The largest part, the cerebrum, does the thinking. It is subdivided into two halves, each responsible for opposite sides of the body and for special mental activities. Across those halves is a motor control feature. The cerebellum, in the lower back of the head, controls balance. The third main part, the brain stem, connects the brain to the spinal cord and allows the heart and lungs to keep working without conscious effort. The author describes other smaller parts of the brain such as the amygdala, which is responsible for feelings. Concussion is explained along with the importance of wearing a helmet during sports activities. Good nutrition and sleep, as well the avoidance of alcohol, smoking, and illegal drugs will foster a healthy brain. The book gives specific examples and illustrations of activities a child can do relative to parts of the brain. The book's brain diagrams are simple and easy for a child to grasp. There is a one-page summary, a simple experiment, and a mention of the various diagnostic tools neurologists use. A glossary, resource list, and index are provided. It is never too early to start on such an essential topic. 2004, Picture Window Books, Ages 5 to 9.
—Carol Raker Collins, Ph.D.