Navigators: Human Body.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Cornwall, Sharon
Pub Date: 11/01/2009
Publication: Name: The American Biology Teacher Publisher: National Association of Biology Teachers Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Biological sciences; Education Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 National Association of Biology Teachers ISSN: 0002-7685
Issue: Date: Nov-Dec, 2009 Source Volume: 71 Source Issue: 9
Topic: NamedWork: Navigators: Human Body (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Smith, Miranda
Accession Number: 246348923
Full Text: Navigators: Human Body. By Miranda Smith. 2008. Macmillan Children's Books, published by Kingfisher. (ISBN: 978-07534-6229-4) 48 pp. Hardcover. $10.95.

The universal curiosity to know more about one's anatomy and physiology, especially keen in adolescents (the target audience for this volume), is visually told through hundreds of images photographed, computer drawn, through CT scans, electron microscopy, and with succinct captions and minimal copy that inform without slowing the pursuit understanding of the human body. In addition to outstanding images, interesting items are included in each page spread, such as "There are more bacteria in your body than there are cells of which there are 100 trillion, which is written also as '100 million million million,'" in an effort to give the reader the scope of this number. An elaboration box highlights a feature of the system depicted. On the muscle pages, the following explains facial expressions, "The muscles in your face do not connect to the bones. Instead, they are attached to other muscles or to the skin."

Miranda Smith respects the young reader by using appropriate terminology. The author transcends anatomy with quotes that incorporate references to the human form, like this one from Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The moral are of the universe bends at the elbow of justice" or this from Woody Allen: "I have bad reflexes. I was once run over by a car being pushed by two guys."

The vivid graphics remind one of the traveling exhibit "Body Worlds," and those plastination recreations which awed museum goers of the wonder of the human form. The book lives up to the claim on the back cover: "A visual guide to the body" where readers get the information fast. Even the motion of turning the book to view some of the pages engages the reader. Through this publication, one learns that "the highest recorded speed of a sneeze is 102 mph (165 km/h)--a fact that is certain to capture young imaginations. Navigators: Human Body supports instruction in life sciences and supplies Web sites particular to each theme. Unexplained facts (adults have 206 bones while newborns begin life with 350) invite the reader to hypothesize and research. Pages are thick, inviting multiple users, and images stimulate such as the antibodies surrounding the viruses or the scan of a large kidney stone in the bladder of a 63-year-old man. This book would be an excellent supplement for a unit on human systems and would support pedagogy of less direct instruction.

Sharon Cornwall

Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls

Philadelphia, PA
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.