Books by Steve Parker

SPACE KIDS by Steve Parker
Released: March 13, 2018

"The theme's worthy, but the informational payload is disappointingly light. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 6-8)"
A first, sweeping look at the visible universe and some of what's in it. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Skips a few stops but should leave young tourists with a taste for further outings into their innards. (Nonfiction. 7-9)"
Even the broccoli and green peas sport happy smiles on their ways down the hatch in this effervescent tour of human body systems. Read full book review >
SPEED MACHINES by Steve Parker
Released: June 15, 2012

"More a handsome first draft than a well-considered final product. (Nonfiction enhanced e-book. 10 & up)"
Developer Miles Kelly presents a decent but curiously static selection of speedy land, sea and air vehicles. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2008

With a clinical white-on-black design, this volume allows readers to go system by system through the workings of the human body. Tabs on the pop-up organs invite children to peek under the skull and inside the brain and into the chambers of the heart. A lifting flap reveals a telescoping, snaky piece of paper that represents an unfolded small intestine leaping from a diagrammatic abdominal cavity on one page to a close-up of the large intestine on the other. Perhaps disappointingly to some, the look at the reproductive system is entirely two-dimensional, although a wheel does show fetal development. Information-wise, a bare introduction, but a mighty engaging one nonetheless. (index) (Pop-up/nonfiction. 9-14)Read full book review >
THE HUMAN BODY by Steve Parker
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

The overseas origins of this volume, subtitled An Amazing Inside Look at You!, are apparent only in a few subtle details of language and illustration. The linguistically straightforward but conceptually sophisticated text covers basic morphology, the musculoskeletal system, metabolism, homeostatic mechanisms, the senses, nervous and endocrine systems, and reproduction (coitus and parturition are described briefly and clinically, but not illustrated; five contraceptive methods are mentioned, but their relative effectiveness is not evaluated). Basic biological concepts such as taxonomic and structural (cell-tissue-organ-system- organism) hierarchies are emphasized throughout. The information is organized functionally (covering topics such as ``movement'' and ``communication and control''), providing greater integration of the material than the more common structurally-oriented discussion of organ systems. Embedded cross-references link different sections when necessary. Also impressive are the many explanations of physiological processes at the molecular level, and the computer- generated graphics, which combine full-color photographs of children with photos of anatomical models in such a way that readers have the startling impression of looking under the skin of a real person. Despite some minor errors and inconsistencies of notation and spelling, this volume from Parker (Shocking Science, p. 605, etc.) has a place even in collections owning other popular ``body'' books; the pictures in the Visual Dictionary of the Human Body (1991) are more detailed, more numerous, and larger, but its text is not nearly as comprehensive or well-integrated as Parker's. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10+) Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1996

Quirky, humorous, frequently gross anecdotes about science, scientists, inventions, and discoveries fill this book, subtitled ``5,000 Years of Mishaps and Misunderstandings'' and profusely illustrated with busy, weird cartoons in a magazine-like layout. Readers who relished The Robot Zoo and Everyday Machines will enjoy this effort even if they are not familiar with the great names of science: Pliny, Ptolemy, Alhazen, Galen, Newton, Mendel, and Volta (women are all but invisible—Marie Curie gets a mention as do the sirens of Greek myth, but that's about it). The topics include theories about the age and origin of the world, information on plagues of pesky animals, the search for life on other planets, early medicine, a history of flight, experiments with electricity, accidental discoveries, failed constructions, etc. This is a browsing book: There are no sources given, no chronologies, and no biographical information on any of the people, whose ideas are not presented in the context of their times. Although both a table of contents and an index are provided, they are not always useful: Many of the pages do not include folios, making some flipping back and forth for information inevitable. (Nonfiction. 12-14) Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 30, 1994

Another in the eye-popping Eyewitness series from Dorling Kindersley. Here, the natural world is revealed by page after page of how'd-they-get-that photographs, accompanied by smart, lucid snippets of text and an army of lively photo captions. Parker (Inside Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures, p. 635, etc.) gives short courses in anatomy, locomotion, life cycle, diet, natural selection, extinction; insects are deconstructed, dinosaurs are reconstructed. To keep things humming, there is a goodly selection of freaks and weirdos: snakes that play dead, complete with lolling tongues; butterflies that look like dead leaves; blue jays swarmed by ants, and enjoying it; a waterfall- dwelling frog that communicates by waving about one of its blue feet; all manner of beasts creepy, crawly, and monstrous. It is a testament to the written material in the book that reading about the spectacular photographs is as much fun as looking at them. Browsing through these pages is provocative in the best sense: It raises as many good questions as it provides good answers. (Nonfiction. 8-14) Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1994

Speculations on dinosaur senses, digestion, locomotion, reproduction, and more. Unfortunately, Parker seldom indicates that such topics are still under investigation; and given the diversity of dinosaurs, his conclusions seem too generalized (``Far from being stupid, dinosaurs used sharp senses to help them survive''). As with this team's other titles, each spread presents a topic with a few captioned color illustrations and labels for dozens of anatomical features. Dinosaur enthusiasts may enjoy browsing the detailed, cutaway drawings, but the text is discouragingly difficult—e.g., ``A flange on the breastbone, the cristospina (keel), anchored the powerful wing-pulling muscles.'' No glossary to explain specialized terms (``staples''; ``gastroliths''; ``convergent evolution''; etc.). Of marginal use. Index. (Nonfiction. 10-12) Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1993

Carefully organized and comprehensive, a visual introduction to living things—from life's basic chemicals to plant and animal structures and processes and the cycles in nature. Originally published in England, this attractive, extremely useful book is a bargain, covering almost any subject in the biological sciences- -from DNA to food webs. Each spread focuses on a topic— ``Digestion,'' ``Movement,'' ``Reproduction,'' etc. A brief organizing paragraph accompanies a dozen or more color drawings and photos explaining and expanding concepts. Color and format are used effectively used: one layout depicts different brains (octopus, insect, fish, lizard, bird, mammal), with sections labeled and color-coded for easy comparison. Specialized terms are defined in the text; many also appear in the glossary. Excellent for browsing or reference. Detailed index. (Nonfiction. 8+) Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 30, 1992

In the new ``Science Discoveries'' series, a prolific author provides a straightforward account of Galileo's life and times. Extensively illustrated with paintings, engravings, drawings, and photos, the book makes clear what Galileo discovered, how it differed from conventional wisdom, and why the differences earned him the enmity of the church. A good introduction in attractive format. Chronology, glossary, index. Simultaneously published: Parker's Charles Darwin and Evolution. (Nonfiction. 8-12) Read full book review >
ANIMAL BIOLOGY by Steve Parker
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

Billed as ``a comprehensive illustrated natural history guide for young readers,'' this fifth volume in ``The Prentice Hall World of Nature'' series is visually appealing but, like the others, disappointing in content. With less information than a standard encyclopedia, and presented in a compressed, technical style that's not only difficult but superficial in the actual information conveyed (Parker discusses anatomy and physiology but devotes only two pages to ``How Does the Brain Work?'' and four paragraphs to the structure of DNA), the series is of marginal use for the intended audience of 9- to 14-year-olds. The bibliographies are dated and include only adult titles; access to information is limited: glossaries are brief, and indexes omit important words and concepts. (Nonfiction. 14+) Read full book review >
INSIDE THE WHALE by Steve Parker
Released: June 1, 1992

The inner anatomy of 21 animals, including the chicken, gorilla, crocodile, snake, fly, and snail. A double-spread, full- color, labeled drawing is given for each, with cutaway sections to focus attention on special features. Smaller side drawings- -often humorous—expand on topics: how an egg progresses from unripe ova to complete egg; how the tortoise's lung expands and compresses as the tortoise pulls in and out of its shell; how the bat's tendons and bones are constructed to help it perch upside down. Minor problems limiting use for assignments: internal parts are inconsistently labeled and sometimes omitted (the camel has mammary glands but no uterus; the elephant and gorilla have uteruses but no mammary glands; the frog has no reproductive organs). Still, a visually satisfying book with many intriguing facts. (Nonfiction. 7+) Read full book review >