Most helpful critical review
61 of 72 people found the following review helpful
Expected better from Macaulay
on November 3, 2008
As a fan of David Macaulay's The Way Things Work book and videos, I was expecting better from this book.
The content is presented in good depth. Compared to many other kid-friendly books on human body, this book's approach of understanding the funtions of the systems and organ starting from celluar level (and molecular level) is very helpful to any kid who is curious to understand the "why"s of human physiology. Unfortunately, the explanations are often short-changed.
Macaulay's previous book had much better illustrations that assisted explanation. This book's illustrations often touch only tangential topics, missing the crux of the topic that most needed an illustration to aid the explanation. I am sorry to say that illustrations seem to be chosen for the ease of the illustrator, and where complexity really needed an illustation for better explanation, the book instead relies on verbose exaplanations, that are often insufficient. The language is often not kid-friendly - the expected target audience.
I find the book useful to arouse interest in human anatomy and physiology, and to frame the content to cater to the inquisiveness of a "why" kid who otherwise finds human anatomy and physiology less than intriguing. It needs to be used in combination with other books/websites/videos that contain better explanations of the matter.
The book comes across as a good first attempt, but a rushed job. I wish Macaulay would revise this book soon, or even better, supplement with multimedia illustrations or videos.