NED THE NEURON by Erica Warp


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Age Range: 10 - 14
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A deep-dish serving of brain matter, but surprisingly digestible for all that.

There is no skirting around the fact that the brain is a complex instrument and that its parts are identified by words of an equally complex order: amygdala, sensory homunculus, thalamus. But Warp manages to glean the salient points while connecting the parts of the brain like so many axons. Ned is a trainee neuron who travels about the brain and the central nervous system while trying to solve a problem for his host, Sophie, who has stepped on a rock and is now in danger of having to stop doing cartwheels. This has Ned in a lather, as he loves cartwheeling. The story is rather silly and immature for the material being covered, but it does add light relief—as does the playful, Hanna-Barbera–like artwork—when confronting action potentials and hippocampi, dendrites and synapses. The app is designed to work deeply into the brain, one layer leading to the next, though readers can also skim—thus allowing for a broad range of ages and capabilities—and there is frequent opportunity to revisit brain parts and activities for refreshers, either via hot words in the text or a handy toolbar at the top of the screen. Both the story and the curricular narrators keep a light, unthreatening tone.

A rangy introduction to the parts of the brain and their functions that skips or dives, your choice. (works on iPad 2 and above) (iPad informational app. 10-14)


Pub Date: Oct. 9th, 2012
Publisher: Kizoom
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2012


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