You Can't Use Your Brain If You're a Jellyfish

You Can't Use Your Brain If You're a Jellyfish

by Fred Ehrlich, Amanda Haley
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Starting with the lowly earthworm, Dr. Fred Ehrlich looks at the brains of insects, birds, mammals, and finally humans. How are human brains different from those of other animals? What can they do that we can't? What can we do that they can't? Dr. Fred Ehrlich makes the most complicated subjects understandable to young minds. In his third contribution to

See more details below

Overview

Starting with the lowly earthworm, Dr. Fred Ehrlich looks at the brains of insects, birds, mammals, and finally humans. How are human brains different from those of other animals? What can they do that we can't? What can we do that they can't? Dr. Fred Ehrlich makes the most complicated subjects understandable to young minds. In his third contribution to this popular series, he again combines a fact-packed text with humorous verse to emphasize important points. Illustrated with Amanda Haley's child-friendly drawings. Includes a glossary of difficult words.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paul Walter
One would have to have a brain the size of a mosquito—apparently only about as big as the period at the end of a sentence—to miss this book's magical mixture of science and fun. Initially drawn in by the balloon-headed people on the cover, who seem to be straight out of an offbeat Nickelodeon cartoon, the fun really gets going when the same illustration style is used for everything from cockroaches to gorillas. Adding depth to these quirky illustrations is text that is as engaging and insightful as it is informative. The author uses the human brain as a baseline against which other animal brains are compared, starting with the simple nerve collections found in insects to the more complex minds of primates. He is painstakingly careful, though, not to put forth the human brain as "better" than others: "Which animal has the best brain? They all do! A tiger has the proper brain for a tiger; a mosquito has a proper brain for a mosquito…." What sets the human brain apart, according to the book, is our large cerebral cortexes, which deal with language and thought. While some other animals have cerebral cortexes, allowing them to learn from nurture as well as nature, we are the only ones with language capabilities. Ehrlich goes on to make clear just how important a distinction that is, since that ability enables humans to modify their environments to fit their needs. This is important because, as the author points out, "we are (in terms of natural defenses) the most helpless of all animals." One final, necessary point deals with technology. While computers may be "smarter" than us because of their ability to process large amounts of data quickly, humans are more "intelligent" due toour minds' flexibility and reasoning skills. In this time of an explosion of new technologies, Ehrlich's reassurance is a sheltering thought. The only possible distractions apparent are the simple verses scattered throughout the book. For example, "It's true that cockroaches cannot think. They never learn to keep out of the sink." While cute, these rhymes interrupt the flow of the book. Once the reader learns to bypass such verses, this charming book is sure to fire up the old cerebral cortex. That is, unless you're a mosquito.
Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
Animal behavior is fascinating to most of us and particularly to young readers, who may have observed odd activities by their own pets or in the zoo. Erlich discusses the brains of many creatures from jellyfish to humans and describes how their brains affect their behavior in terms of what they can or cannot do. Jellyfish, for example do not have a brain; they can survive without one. Humans, on the other hand would be dead without a brain because their brain controls everything they do, including eating. The book progresses from creatures with simple brains to animals and birds with more complex brains. Since jellyfish only eat and reproduce, their activities are instinctive. Humans are capable of both creating and destroying parts of their world, so their brains must be able to reason. The cartoon-like illustrations add humor as do the verses that accompany descriptions of the animals. There is a table of contents at the beginning and a glossary at the end. While not in-depth, this book satisfies the curiosity of younger readers and may prompt them to more detailed reading. Reviewer: Ellen Welty; Ages 5 to 9.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609051440
Publisher:
Blue Apple Books
Publication date:
07/01/2011
Pages:
44
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Fred Ehrlich, a pediatrician and child psychiatrist, has written numerous children's books. He divides his time between Lincoln, Massachusetts, and Maplewood, New Jersey.

Amanda Haley holds a B.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives in Ohio with her husband and their golden retriever, Sally.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >