EYES AND EARS by Seymour Simon


Age Range: 7 - 10
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Distilling complicated scientific information to primary-grade level is never easy, and Simon (Amazing Aircraft, not reviewed, etc.), widely known for his work on a broad range of topics, makes some unfortunate errors in this account of how we hear and see. He discusses how light passes into the eye, and how light-sensitive cells in the back of the eye trigger nervous impulses to the brain. Some fine pages discuss how the brain interprets what it sees, and how it can be tricked by optical illusions. However, at one point the text description of the anatomy of the eye disagrees with the (correct) labeled drawing beside it. Seymour also states that the optic nerve from each eye crosses over to the opposite side of the brain; this is incorrect. Each optic nerve actually splits, with half of each nerve going to each side of the brain. The section on hearing describes the anatomy and physiology of the ear canal, and notes that ears are important for balance as well as hearing. The quality of the illustrations varies widely—some are fascinating, some confusing, and a few, photographs of the ear clearly taken from cadavers, are nauseating without being particularly informative. Better captions would have helped throughout. The text is clunky in spots. Not bad overall, but not as good as it could be, and there’s a wealth of material recently published on these topics. (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-688-15303-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2003


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