This volume is one in the eight-volume Science Visual Resources set created by the Diagram Group, each offering a highly illustrated guide to its particular branch of science. Other volumes are Chemistry, Earth Science, Environment, Marine Science, Physics
, Space and Astronomy
, and Weather and Climate.
Each of the texts is organized into a number of different subsections, ranging from five (Physics
) to nine (Weather and Climate
), depending on the topic. The arrangement is not always clear. For example, Biology
is arranged into six different sections: "Unity," "Continuity," "Diversity," "Maintenance," "Human Biology," and "Ecology," not all of which will make sense to young readers.
Each section contains one-page treatments of subtopics, and information is conveyed mainly in the form of illustrations. In the "Unity" section of Biology, for example, there is a page devoted to DNA structure, with various graphical representations of the double helix. In the margin are text entries for Phosphate-sugar backbone and Information carrier. Above these entries is a boxed area that lists keywords, which can be found in the glossary.
The strength of this set is in its visual layout. Color illustrations, graphs, charts, and maps appear on every page. The illustrations are prominently placed and easy to understand. Complementary text is also very clear. Often, when there is more than one illustration appearing on a page, the illustrations and text entries are numbered for ease of matching. Each book in the set concludes with a glossary, a listing of Web sites for further research, and a volume-specific index. Each volume can serve as a stand-alone title.
There is no cross-referencing within the volumes, and the set could have benefited from closer editing. Nevertheless, this would be a useful research tool for middle school, high-school, and public libraries that want to supplement their science collections. Maren Ostergard
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