A broad overview of what makes us tick and, more superficially, what makes us human.
Loosely related to an exhibit of the same name at the London Science Museum, the survey organizes single-topic spreads into four general areas: the brain and nervous system; heredity and evolution; emotions and social communication; and reproduction and development. The busy design features dazzling washes of color that provide few places for eyes to rest, mid-sized blocks of commentary and relatively technical explanatory captions. These mingle with elaborate montages of photographed children, medical and microphotography and photorealistic digital images of human anatomy rendered with a plastic sheen. Other animals, even other primates, get barely a nod as discussions of language, emotion, multiple kinds of intelligence, gender identity, individual personality, sex and attractiveness, aging and all the rest stay closely focused on human traits and features. Readers will come away with a few mistaken ideas—no, all bacteria are not bad—but also a clearer picture of how our bodies and brains function.
A close look at the human animal—informative despite a severe lack of overall context. (review questions, personality test, multimedia resource list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)