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Volume VIII Number 1 . . . . September 7, 2001
Michael Lotito of France eats for a living. Not a bad job, except for the menu: bicycles, TVs, computers, supermarket carts, chandeliers, a wooden coffin (empty) and an entire Cessna light airplane. He's not called Monsieur Mangetout (Mr. Eat Everything) for nothing.Part of the "Mysterious You" series, which examines the way in which the human body functions, these titles are sure to be a big hit. Brightly coloured and amusing covers attract readers' attention, and the winning combination of well-researched information, fascinating facts and fun activities sustains readers' interest. Written in kids' language and injected with a liberal dose of humour, the text zips along. The layout of the books is similar: the main concept is presented on a double-page spread with a portion on the right-hand side devoted to interesting anecdotes or a section entitled "You Try It!"- fun, simple experiments, requiring few or no props, that readers can do on their own or try on their families and friends. A variety of pastel backgrounds add life to the text which is enhanced with vibrant, amusing cartoon-like drawings. These illustrations are well-suited to the writing style of the text.
Burp! includes information on eating (calorie consumption and burning, the importance of a balanced diet, vitamins and nutrients, food cravings, and how the sense of smell affects eating), digestion (lots of gross stuff that kids will love!), eating disorders, and space-age food for the future.
Hmm? discusses the parts of the brain and their functions, how memory works, the difference between procedural and declarative memory, short-term versus long-term memory and how to sharpen one's memory through the use of techniques such as visualization and mnemonics. One of the main concepts presented is how both personal and collective memories shape people's lives and help to define the world in which they live.
Bound to be popular with kids, these titles represent an auspicious beginning to what promises to be an excellent, exciting series. (The next title on genes and cloning was released in September 2001.)
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.
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