These six books are excellent for introducing very young children to their five senses. Your Senses is the simplest and, on the very first page, introduces the five senses with clear illustrations of children using each one. The next two pages show the five organs responsible for detecting each sense, while the third pair of pages indicates that signals from these organs are sent to the brain. The remaining pages list attributes of each sense; for example, seeing distinguishes shapes, sizes, and colors. Each pair of pages includes a photograph or diagram on the right, illustrating the concept, and simple text on the left. The remaining five books (Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching) follow a similar format. The first few pages illustrate the organ responsible for detecting a particular sense. Subsequent pages explain that signals from the organ are transmitted to the brain, where the sense is perceived. The final pages describe different attributes of the sense being discussed; for example, sounds can be loud or soft, and tastes can be sweet or bitter.
Designed to appeal to preschool children and first and second graders, the books are small enough that they are easy for these young children to handle. The photographs are excellent, depicting very appealing children. The text is simple and accurate. More difficult words are defined in a "Words to Know" section at the back of the book. Though only 24 pages long, each book contains an index, a short list of additional children's books on the senses, and a list of Internet sites that teach about the senses. However, one of the 19 sites has already moved to a different URL, and others will undoubtedly change during thelifetime of these books.
Minor errors of fact appear in two of the books. In Hearing, the text oversimplifies the transmission of sound through the middle ear, leaving the impression that the vibrating eardrum (the tympanic membrane) stimulates the auditory nerves directly. The accompanying diagram properly shows the nerve signals coming from the cochlea, but the structures of the middle and inner ear are not described or labeled. In Smelling, two diagrams show the olfactory nerves at the back of the nasal cavity instead of at their proper location at the front. However, these two errors will be of little consequence to the book's target audience. The amount of information that is clearly and simply presented is impressive. I recommend these books highly for children who are beginning to understand their bodies. (from the Senses Series.) Highly Recommended, Grades PreK-Grade 2. REVIEWER: Dr. Gaylord S. Throckmorton (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)