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YOU JUST CAN'T HELP IT! by Jeff Szpirglas


Your Guide to the Wild and Wacky World of Human Behavior

by Jeff Szpirglas & illustrated by Josh Holinaty

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-926818-07-8
Publisher: Maple Tree Press

"A human is a pretty wild thing," argues the author of this collection of curious facts and intriguing studies about human behavior. With a breezy text supported by a lively design, the author of Gross Universe (2004) again presents science in a way certain to attract middle-grade and middle-school readers. Chapters on the senses, emotions, communication and interactions with other human beings cover a variety of topics, each on headlined double-page spreads. Each chapter includes a description of “a cool study” organized into appropriate sections: question, observation, experiment (illustrated with step by step cartoons), results and summary.  “Are you an animal?” sidebars describe comparable animal behavior. From dirty diapers to canned laughter to body language, he finds topics that both appeal and enlighten. Directly addressing readers, he invites participation by asking questions—“How are you sitting right now?” “Does smell affect your dreams?” “Does your heart race when….?”—and draws them in further with do-it-yourself experiments. A section on good manners even includes guidelines for behavior at a concert—differentiating between classical and rock. The digital art includes bits of photographs, line drawings, the use of color and shapes to help organize the print and plenty of symbols. No specific sources are cited, but an extensive list of experts is acknowledged. Popular science through and through, you can’t help enjoying this. (index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)