Though the relationship between Dynamic Dan, the mechanical analogue, and an ordinary duck decoy may be distant, they are both members of the varied and largely unfamiliar dummy family. Most significant is the genealogy of models used in medical and scientific research, from the original ""Mrs. Chase"" (named after her inventor) to her sophisticated descendants, Plastinaut and Sim II, a simulated patient, with a computer monitored brain. Another branch of the family tree specializes in camp; there's a section on the making of figures for wax museums (Gloria Swanson donated a chinchilla coat for her double to wear), and we even meet Resusci-Anne -- a less ""dangerous"" (intimate?) way for first aid classes to practice mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But unless you're as charmed as the author by the looks of department store mannequins and eager to know the details of taxidermy, you will wish for greater selectivity. In all, we meet an entertaining assemblage of sideshow curiosities and supra-educational toys; unfortunately, even a dummy would be offended by the cute-casual tone which detracts from an otherwise amusing piece of peripatetic research.