Handsome look, spacious layout, succinct text; oversold subject, superficial treatment, padded contents--a typical market-oriented product with a minimum of individuality, a maximum of immediate acceptability. ""The romantic tale of man's ingenuity of yesterday, today and tomorrow"" devotes the first half to ""yesterday""--a lavishly and not inappropriately illustrated synopsis of the history of ceramics; the second quarter (roughly) to ""today""--an explanation of the methods of making pottery that would be enhanced by more pictorialization; the last section to ""tomorrow""--new uses for ceramics in industry. In between, there's an arbitrary chapter on lamps and an ineffectual (and redundant) tribute to the range of artifacts. Little enough, attractive enough--maybe enough for kids who aren't fired by the subject. The glossary is some help, the absence of an index no handicap.