________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 17 . . . . April 26, 2002

cover You're Full of Genes. (Holey Moley Book).

Claudia Zylberberg. Illustrated by Marlene A. Davis.
Toronto, ON: Chestnut, 2001.
42 pp., pbk, $12.95.
ISBN 1-894601-00-9.

Subject Headings:
Genes-Juvenile literature.
Human genetics-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-5 / Ages 8-10.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

** /4

exerpt:

Now we have to find T-TAG. There he is talking to his friends. What are they talking about? Probably about a game to play or what another friend did and maybe even, just like you, about what they're going to do when they grow up.

And there's someone else there too. She's called an enzyme.

A what?

En-zi-mmmm. Say it a few times. It won't sound funny after a while and you'll find it easy to remember. En-zi-mmmm. En-zi-mmmm.

The first in the "Holey Moley" series of science and nature books, You're Full of Genes attempts to explain, in simple terms, the concepts of cells, enzymes, dominant and recessive genes and the genetic code. But it takes forever to do it, and there is a lot of extraneous "cutesy" stuff that acts as filler between bits of important information. Readers are asked to find photos of themselves and each of their parents to figure out which parent they most resemble. Another "game" requires readers to examine illustrations of several different faces which have been divided into thirds and to determine which parts of the various faces are similar to their own. But the problem is that the faces, rendered in watercolour, are not realistically drawn (especially the mouths). A cartoon-like character named T-TAG, a gene, is introduced next. Readers follow T-TAG as he learns about the various combinations of genes that make each person unique. Brief mention is made of identical twins and family trees as well.

     The text is verbose, the ink and watercolour illustrations colourful and appealing, but not very helpful in terms of clarifying the concepts presented in the book. Too much sizzle, not enough steak.

Not 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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