NATURE BY DESIGN by Bruce Brooks


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In the new ""Knowing Nature"" series, this book about animal-made structures (honeycombs, spider webs, termite, wasp, and bird nests, etc.) has eye-catching color photos; unfortunately, the text (by the author of The Moves Make the Man, 1985 Newbery Honor) is wordy, stilted, and unsatisfying. Published in association with Thirteen/WNET, the book is inspired by ""the broad spirit of inquiry and richness of detail in the Nature television series."" Maybe so, but young enthusiasts would be better off watching the video. Brooks's prose is daunting: ""We humans have the initiative to move beyond the restrictions of our immediate environment and needs, but animals are much closer to the commandments of nature's law: the orderliness of their actions is not mitigated by the uniquely human ambition to be greater tomorrow than we are today."" A companion book, Predators!, adds a wisecracking tone to the convoluted prose: ""In truth, humans are pretty wimpy predators."" A disappointing misfire. Glossary; index.

Pub Date: Nov. 27th, 1991
Page count: 74pp
Publisher: "Farrar, Straus & Giroux"