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THE HUMAN BODY by Steve Parker


by Steve Parker

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8109-1242-2
Publisher: Abrams

 The overseas origins of this volume, subtitled An Amazing Inside Look at You!, are apparent only in a few subtle details of language and illustration. The linguistically straightforward but conceptually sophisticated text covers basic morphology, the musculoskeletal system, metabolism, homeostatic mechanisms, the senses, nervous and endocrine systems, and reproduction (coitus and parturition are described briefly and clinically, but not illustrated; five contraceptive methods are mentioned, but their relative effectiveness is not evaluated). Basic biological concepts such as taxonomic and structural (cell-tissue-organ-system- organism) hierarchies are emphasized throughout. The information is organized functionally (covering topics such as ``movement'' and ``communication and control''), providing greater integration of the material than the more common structurally-oriented discussion of organ systems. Embedded cross-references link different sections when necessary. Also impressive are the many explanations of physiological processes at the molecular level, and the computer- generated graphics, which combine full-color photographs of children with photos of anatomical models in such a way that readers have the startling impression of looking under the skin of a real person. Despite some minor errors and inconsistencies of notation and spelling, this volume from Parker (Shocking Science, p. 605, etc.) has a place even in collections owning other popular ``body'' books; the pictures in the Visual Dictionary of the Human Body (1991) are more detailed, more numerous, and larger, but its text is not nearly as comprehensive or well-integrated as Parker's. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10+)