Kirkus Reviews QR Code
NATURE BY DESIGN by Bruce Brooks


by Bruce Brooks

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 27th, 1991
ISBN: 0-374-30334-7
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 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. (Nonfiction. 10+)