Books by Geoff Brightling

Released: May 14, 1997

Glossily photographed, highly detailed, three-dimensional models seem to leap out at readers in this entry in the Inside Guide series. The huge models capture the imagination but don't always make the technical, extremely terse text comprehensible. For example, one sequence of models and captions, explaining how plants make food, describes the structure of the chloroplast. The thylakoids, looking like several stacks of vivid green hockey pucks, are nested inside a double-walled, football-shaped membrane—the chloroplast. The food-making process remains a bit of a muddle; many of the specialized terms on that page and others don't appear in the glossary. Still, a sequence of models on the germination of a runner bean seed is of near stand-alone quality, requiring little in the way of captions, and all the models are marvels to pore over, even when they don't make plain the process under discussion. Think of the book as science for the eyes, a companion volume to more competent texts that forge links between what readers are looking at and what they should be seeing. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-13) Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 12, 1996

The Really Amazing Animal Book ($9.95; Dec. 12, 1996; 16 pp.; 0- 7894-1265-9): A really amazingly cluttered animal book of photographs and goofy drawings, accompanied by a goggle-eyed rubber alligator-cum-host, who asks questions that are answered (sort of) in double-page spreads. Punchy headlines and two or three sentences introduce the topic, e.g., under ``Powerful Poisons'' are photos of ``stabbing stingers'' (a sea anemone), ``fatal fangs'' (a rattlesnake), ``fast killer'' (Australian funnelweb spider), ``toxic chew'' (Gila monster), and ``bad skin'' (fire salamander). The book offers little real information, and attempts to hold interest with quips from cartoon characters who appear throughout. Glib and messy. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-7) Read full book review >