Another serviceable but unexciting system book from the Silversteins, tracing the one in question through various animals from the amoeba on, with special emphasis on humans and a brief chapter on plants. The closing chapter on ""frontiers of research"" is disappointing here, exploring only the well-settled territory of the birth control pill, IUD, fertility drugs and artificial insemination (with a bare mention of ""test tube babies""). And the authors' obeisance to the trend of weaving simple experiments into the text results in some pretty silly suggestions: the reader is directed to put a handful of broken toothpicks in his pocket and throw another handful on the grass to demonstrate that offspring given more care by their parents are more likely to survive. The subject of genetics is not considered, nor are questions of human sexuality--a legitimate limitation of scope that is carried to extremes when intercourse is described as a process that occurs ""when a man and woman wish to have a child."" Obviously then, this will neither stimulate young scientists nor answer children's personal sex questions, but as a strictly mechanical survey of the mechanics of reproduction, it might have some classroom utility.