In the third of a series of Really, Really Big Question books, Law delves again into philosophy for children.
The title might imply that this is going to be yet another anatomy-and-physiology-for-children effort. To a certain extent, it is. Discussing cells and atoms and providing some attention to a few body parts—eyes and brains especially—it meanders about, briefly spotlighting a topic and just as quickly heading off in another direction. While it delves into philosophical questions that have haunted deep thinkers for eons—"How do I know that the world is real?" for example—it also fails to name "the tube into your stomach" or "the different tube into your lungs," with the apparent supposition that these long words might stump readers. In answering "Why do I catch colds?" the author incorrectly reports that the virus is transmitted this way: "You might touch a doorknob that someone with the virus has used and then touch the food you are eating." Actually, stomach acid destroys cold viruses, which spread through the air. Aspinall's quirky, disproportionate people scamper across the brightly colored, sometimes hard-to-read pages, helpfully distracting readers from the watered-down deep thought. This shotgun approach to anatomy and philosophy does justice to neither topic; better works are abundant.
A really, really big and more pertinent question is: Who is the audience for this unnecessary effort? (Nonfiction. 9-12)