THE WHOLE WORLD OF HANDS by Gilda & Melvin Berger Berger


Email this review


Perhaps inspired by Napier's successful 1980 adult title, Hands, but without its authority or substance (there is nothing here on the evolution of hands, or on hand tools), this starts in typical juvenile fashion with the bones of the hand, then works out through muscles, blood vessels, and skin. Interest picks up with the sense of touch and some simple experiments (""Isn't it amazing how far apart the pressure sensors are?""), and then it's on to handedness: How much is heredity, how much learned? And how does it relate to the right and left brain? A discussion of gestures is marked by harmless but tenuous speculation (covered by phrases like ""Some say . . ."") and by evasions. (Why include the cuckold sign without so identifying it?) Also thrown in are a few words on rings and on prostheses, more to acknowledge the topics than to convey any items of interest, and there is even a section on first aid for hurt hands. With the elements of ""finger math,"" signs from American Indian and Ameslan sign language and a finger alphabet, a few games and tricks (scissors-paper-rock; cat's cradle), a few silly rules for handwriting analysis (which ""some claim shows what kind of person you are""), and a few key principals of palmistry, it's a mishmash that may serve for idle diversion.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1982
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin