The Way We Work
  • The Way We Work
  • The Way We Work

The Way We Work

2.9 12
by David Macaulay
     
 

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In this comprehensive and entertaining resource, David Macaulay reveals the inner workings of the human body as only he could. In order to present this complicated subject in an accurate and entertaining way, he put in years of research. He sat in on anatomy classes, dissections, and even reached inside the rib cages of two cadavers to compare their spleen sizes.…  See more details below

Overview


In this comprehensive and entertaining resource, David Macaulay reveals the inner workings of the human body as only he could. In order to present this complicated subject in an accurate and entertaining way, he put in years of research. He sat in on anatomy classes, dissections, and even reached inside the rib cages of two cadavers to compare their spleen sizes. He observed numerous surgeries, including a ten-hour procedure where a diseased pancreas was removed, as well as one where a worn-out old knee was replaced by a brand new one. This hands-on investigation gives Macaulay a unique perspective to lead his readers on a visual journey through the workings of the human body.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The powerful, illuminating images will ignite curiosity and inspire awe over the magnificent connections that make up the human body."--Booklist, boxed review

"The wonder that is David Macaulay is at it again . . . His text is irreverent . . . His drawing of a hand pulling the left eye out of its socket is just gross enough to engage young readers into a description of seeing . . . The work of this Caldecott medal winner and recipient of the McArthur grant is always a must-have in any library."--VOYA (5Q4P), highlighted review

"In this highly detailed encyclopedic volume of every part of our bodies, every system of the body is explained and illustrated in very kid-friendly lingo and art. Fascinating and well worth the price tag."--Winston Salem Journal

"To his many fans, David Macaulay is nothing less than America's Explainer-in-Chief"--the Providence Journal

"...teems with double-page spreads that blend scientific accuracy with Macaulay's trademark whimsy." -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"[takes] readers on a tour of ourselves--from the atoms that make us up to the brain that governs it all."--U.S. News & World Report

"You don't have to be a brain surgeon to understand this book, but it may very well inspire a few young people to become one someday."--PlanetEsme.com

" In this highly detailed encyclopedic volume of every part of our bodies, every system of the body is explained and illustrated in very kid-friendly lingo and art. Fascinating and well worth the price tag."--Winston Salem Journal

"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 . . . motivated teens will feel they've gone to premed heaven."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In this comprehensive and entertaining resource, best-selling author David Macaulay illuminates the mysteries of the human body as only he could."--Book Page

VOYA
"The wonder that is David Macaulay is at it again . . . His text is irreverent . . . His drawing of a hand pulling the left eye out of its socket is just gross enough to engage young readers into a description of seeing . . . The work of this Caldecott medal winner and recipient of the McArthur grant is always a must-have in any library."—VOYA (5Q4P), highlighted review

Imaginative adult readers already know David Macaulay as the author behind The New Way Things Work, Pyramid, Castle, Cathedral, and a host of other illustrated books that explain the dynamics of buildings and machines. In The Way We Work, he introduces young readers to the workings of the one structure they cannot ignore: their own body. In seven carefully researched sections, he guides us on a fantastic visual journal through the interlocking physiological systems that enable to sustain ourselves and cope with physical challenges.
Abby McGanney Nolan
The appeal of Macaulay's books is not limited to 10-year-olds, of course, and the daunting amount of information here (explaining such phenomena as actin filaments and antibody attacks) is balanced by his playful and ingenious pencil-and-watercolor illustrations. These pictures offer great detail and helpful analogies.
—The Washington Post
James Gorman
Macaulay has taken on the task of explaining the body from atoms on up. He does this with lively color, scientific accuracy and his familiar, and shamelessly hokey, humor…There is plenty of classical anatomy. The illustrations of cell division, the wall of the small intestine and other subjects are models of clarity in biological illustration. But the ruling idea behind the book is of the body as a mechanism. That's a good working idea, particularly for young readers. But the book inspires confidence for the rest of us, too. I have written about science for 30 years, but I would happily turn to The Way We Work for a comprehensible explanation of how muscles are put together. I also lingered happily over the explanation of the lymph system, which rarely gets the attention it deserves.
—The New York Times
McGanney Abby Nolan
The appeal of Macaulay's books is not limited to 10-year-olds, of course, and the daunting amount of information here (explaining such phenomena as actin filaments and antibody attacks) is balanced by his playful and ingenious pencil-and-watercolor illustrations. These pictures offer great detail and helpful analogies.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

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.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA - Beth E. Andersen
The wonder that is David Macaulay is at it again. The author, a genius at cutaway views of everyday architectural structures in books such as Mosque (Walter Lorraine Books/Houghton Mifflin, 2003/VOYA February 2004) and the perennial favorite, The Way Things Work (1988/VOYA April 1999), takes on his biggest construction challenge yet in the human body. Using clever chapter headings, such as "Air Traffic Control" (respiratory system) and "Who's in Charge Here?" (the brain), Macaulay's accessible and amusing descriptions of the body's inner workings result in a fascinating journey. His color illustrations break down body systems from the most elemental level, the single cell, and work their way through to increasingly complex organs and systems. Eventually he ties them together for a complete overview of the way we work. His text is irreverent. "Slice and Crush" is all about teeth and chewing. His drawing of a hand pulling the left eye out of its socket is just gross enough to engage young readers into a description of seeing. This play of whimsical albeit accurate illustrations versus technical text should work well as the reading level is a tad mature for the low end of the book's intended audience. The work of this Caldecott medal winner and recipient of the McArthur grant is always a must-have in any library. The index was not seen in the advance review copy. Reviewer: Beth E. Andersen
School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up

An ambitious undertaking even for Macaulay, this volume tackles the human body in the author's usual style. Divided into seven sections that connect related systems, the book covers cellular structure at the atomic scale, DNA, and metabolism; respiration and circulation; digestion and elimination; the nervous and endocrine systems; the immune system and fighting infections; the skeleton, musculature, and movement; and reproduction. Macaulay combines a detailed description with frequently whimsical, yet very informative, color diagrams to illustrate the body's functions. At times challenging due to the nature of the topic (e.g., cellular chemistry, nerve impulses), the text incorporates the same subtle humor found in the artwork to enhance the book's appeal without sacrificing its utility. As Macaulay shies away from no topic in his frank, scientific discussions, the result is a very complete description of the "mechanical" aspect of human anatomy that is at once enlightening, entertaining, and a visual delight.-Jeffrey A. French, formerly at Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, Willowick, OH

Kirkus Reviews

In the same style as The Way Things Work (1988), lively, vivid colored-pencil illustrations accompany a very detailed text explaining the design and function of the human body. Beginning at the atomic level and describing the structure and workings of human cells with an amount of information that nearly rivals high-school biology books, Macaulay and Walker then move on to DNA, tissue types, organs and organ systems, immune response, movement and reproduction. The intricacy and wonder of the human body is celebrated, but this is never an easy read. The lighthearted illustrations featuring speech balloons, tiny workers and a variety of other humorous touches will attract a fairly young age group, but the amount and complexity of the written information may daunt all but the most ardent enthusiasts. This is without doubt a browsing volume; the amusing but general chapter headings—"Air Traffic Control"—makes location of topics a bit of a challenge. Though it's an unlikely choice for a little light reading, the accuracy, detail and depth of information make this an essential addition to most collections. (glossary, index, appendix) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618233786
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/03/2008
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
190,123
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The powerful, illuminating images will ignite curiosity and inspire awe over the magnificent connections that make up the human body."—Booklist, boxed review

"The wonder that is David Macaulay is at it again . . . His text is irreverent . . . His drawing of a hand pulling the left eye out of its socket is just gross enough to engage young readers into a description of seeing . . . The work of this Caldecott medal winner and recipient of the McArthur grant is always a must-have in any library."—VOYA (5Q4P), highlighted review

"In this highly detailed encyclopedic volume of every part of our bodies, every system of the body is explained and illustrated in very kid-friendly lingo and art. Fascinating and well worth the price tag."—Winston Salem Journal

"To his many fans, David Macaulay is nothing less than America's Explainer-in-Chief"—the Providence Journal

"...teems with double-page spreads that blend scientific accuracy with Macaulay's trademark whimsy."—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"[takes] readers on a tour of ourselves—from the atoms that make us up to the brain that governs it all."—U.S. News & World Report

"You don't have to be a brain surgeon to understand this book, but it may very well inspire a few young people to become one someday."—PlanetEsme.com

" In this highly detailed encyclopedic volume of every part of our bodies, every system of the body is explained and illustrated in very kid-friendly lingo and art. Fascinating and well worth the price tag."—Winston Salem Journal

"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 . . . motivated teens will feel they've gone to premed heaven."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In this comprehensive and entertaining resource, best-selling author David Macaulay illuminates the mysteries of the human body as only he could."—Book Page

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Meet the Author


David Macaulay is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books have sold millions of copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. Macaulay has garnered numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, and the Washington Post–Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award. In 2006, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, given “to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.” Superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information distinguish all of his books. David Macaulay lives with his family in Vermont.

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2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
JVG More than 1 year ago
This book was intended for my gifted 9-year-old son who reads non-stop. The text would have been a challenge for him, despite the fact that he devoured the Harry Potter series at 8 and the Eragon series earlier this year.

However, what made me return the book was the outside-his-age-range, extremely detailed discussion of the reproductive system. While this book would be a fine addition to the library of an older child, it was not appropriate for mine at this time.
Neda-Molai More than 1 year ago
This is a very interesting book, it was a great addition to my collection. The way it was written and illustrated really lets you understand and appreciate how the body works. Especially explaining complicated things through clear, lively drawings. For example, A page on how blood cells deliver oxygen shows them riding a roller coaster, and hormone-making cells look like miniature factories, complete with smokestacks! It covers everything from atoms, molecules and cells and concluding to the reproductive system and birth of a new human being in thorough detail. I definitely recommend this book for high school and college students that are planning to take Anatomy and Physiology classes.
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Frustrated-Teacher More than 1 year ago
I ordered this book but never received it. I got some Nickel and Dime book instead but I couldn't return it because I waited too long. This is a bit frustrating, to say the least.
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