TOTALLY HUMAN by Cynthia Pratt Nicolson


Why We Look and Act the Way We Do
Age Range: 6 - 10
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Nicolson gathers and answers two-dozen fundamental curiosities of the human condition. Why do we laugh, why do we cry? Why sleep, why play? What role do hiccups serve, and, really, what is it about passing gas, in either direction? The author melds the playful with the insightful as she explains the mechanisms behind such elemental human acts as yawning and vomiting, with evolutionary and biological factors sharing the page with some good—and mildly disgusting—color commentary: “Ever wonder why your vomit sometimes contains little chunks of orange stuff…? These are bits of your stomach lining, torn off by the squeezing action.” Yes, well, at least that is less unnerving than the sea cucumber—Nicolson wisely introduces other species into the picture for context and variety—which vomits up its entire stomach and other internal organs. The text is good natured and light on its feet, whether it is laying out the theoretical underpinnings of why we see in color, drumming with urgency in describing the fight-or-flight response or probing the mists of time to gain insight into memory, the pleasure of pets or our response to music. Eastman’s digital photo-collages are nicely attuned to the text, with enough wackiness to bring out the humor yet also built up of parts that call attention to the expository material. (Nonfiction. 6-10)
Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-55453-569-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Kids Can
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2011


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