Beginning with a definition of what bones are--the body's framework--and a description of their structure, Llamas notes that the adult body is comprised of about 200 bones. Bones are important because, like a factory, they produce important products--red and white blood cells and blood platelets. Bones also store excess minerals which are released when the body needs them. Muscles, readers learn, carry out and coordinate movement. The body has about 400 of them. In this book, the sections alternate between the bones and muscles; for example, one spread shows the bones that make up the skull, while the next spread shows and describes the muscles of the head. The text uses all of the proper names and the format consists of introductory text on one page while the text on the opposing page explains how it all works. The final spread in this book focuses on the body's joints, of which there are three basic types--immovable, slightly moveable and fully movable. While there is a bibliography that includes videos, no copyright dates are given. Also there is an index, references to web sites and a glossary, but no guide to pronunciation which would have been very helpful. Excellent illustrations are found throughout the text. Part of "The Human Body" series. 1998 (orig. 1996), Gareth Stevens, Ages 9 up, $21.27. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Gr 4-6-These books about the human body are short on clearly presented information and long on confusing illustrations. Digestion, for example, describes how pancreatic juice "...travels through Santorini's duct and the duct of Wirsung to enter the duodenum at the ampulla of Vater." This is an unnecessarily complex explanation of this part of the digestive process for the intended audience. The illustrations show various organs floating in white space with no sense of proportion to other structures. The "Interpretation of a Stimulus as Pain" diagram in The Nervous System simply shows a blue arrow traveling up the spinal cord. Forget this series and stick with the many clearly written titles available on this topic.-Christine A. Moesch, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, NY
Three new titles in the The Human Body series provide clear, simple information for kids in grades 4-6 -- and many an adult will consider it a solid review of the basics. The Nervous System, Respiration And Circulation and Muscles And Bones each provide a little over thirty pages of color illustrations and charts, with easy coverage mapping the human body's systems and functions.