________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 13 . . . . March 1, 2002

cover The Human Body. (BLOW-UP! Junior Science).

Christina Coster-Longman. Illustrated by Ivan Stalio, Lorenzo Cecchi & Sauro Giampaia.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2001.
37 pp., cloth, $18.99.
ISBN 0-439-98702-4.

Subject Headings:
Human physiology-Juvenile literature.
Human anatomy-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**** /4

   
cover Planet Earth. (BLOW-UP! Junior Science).

Christina Coster-Longman. Illustrated by Ivan Stalio.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2001.
37 pp., cloth, $18.99.
ISBN 0-439-98701-6.

Subject Headings:
Earth sciences-Juvenile literature.
Earth-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**** /4

exerpt:

In 1912 Alfred Wegener observed that if all the continents were pushed together their outlines would fit almost exactly into each other. He developed the theory that millions of years ago a single enormous landmass called "Pangaea" gradually broke up and the different parts of the Earth's crust carrying the continents slowly shifted them away from each other. This theory has been supported by the fact that the same kinds of rocks and fossils have been discovered on the coasts of different continents at the points where they would meet if their edges were placed side by side. (From Planet Earth)

If these two titles are indicative of the entire "Junior Science" series, Scholastic has a surefire winner here. Each book consists of a brief introduction, nine chapters, a table of contents and an index. Ten fold-out pages add novelty to the layout, but the books would be just as successful without this format. Besides the main topic in each chapter, sidebars and text boxes provide additional information. Written at an upper elementary level, the text explains concepts, some of them fairly difficult, in a manner that is easy for readers to comprehend. Wonderful and abundant, full-colour photographs, diagrams and cross-sections add visual appeal and clarification of the main ideas presented.

     The Human Body highlights the body systems which work together to enable humans to live and to perform a variety of activities. Each system is introduced by a general paragraph and a large photograph of a person (or group of people) benefitting from that particular system. As readers proceed to unfold the page, the diagram that is revealed beneath explains the featured process in more detail. A touch of humour sustains the reader's interest. For example, the section on the muscular system shows a photo of a female athlete as she jumps over a hurdle then, beneath this page, there is a diagram of a relay runner at the starting block, but this time, all of his muscles are shown. Similarly, the diagram of the skeleton is not the typical one found in most medical or health texts - it is an "action shot" with a distinctively 3-D appearance. Another plus is the sensitivity with which the reproductive system is explained, using age-appropriate information which does not talk down to kids. The final chapter focuses on cells and how they work.

     Planet Earth covers such topics as the earth's layers, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, water, weather and deserts, concluding with a section on the various forms of pollution. Excellent photographs and diagrams help readers to better understand concepts such as the different types of faults, various lake formations and the parts of a river. Interesting, entertaining and educational!

Highly Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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