Anatomy and physiology presented in a readable, comprehensible and entertaining format.
One of the 50 Questions series, this effort presents a tour of the systems of the human body through the use of chapter-heading questions. Most questions imbue a level of humor to the presentation: “Is [the heart] a pump or a love machine?” or “Is there snot in your stomach?” These might irritate the most serious students, but many more will be intrigued enough to read further. Detailed information is presented in a conversational style. Ample, accurate scientific details are broken into short sections that make the complexity of the human body more comprehensible and may inspire more in-depth research. The inclusion of brief, illuminating historical anecdotes—for example, a fur trader who had a hole shot in his stomach in 1822 and lived to tell the tale—provides a context for our current understanding of the human body. Occasional references to recent technology, like an implanted microchip to control building electronics, are sure to awe readers. A smattering of experiments, including one to make synthetic mucus, offer yet another dimension. Kinnaird’s quirky, generally silly, cartoonlike illustrations pepper the pages, adding flavor and flair. End material, particularly the outstanding sources used for chapter notes, elevates this offering even further.
A tour (de force) through the human body that’s eminently understandable and entertaining and even often quite funny. (Nonfiction. 10-14)