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BRAIN: A 21st CENTURY LOOK AT A 400-MILLION-YEAR-OLD ORGAN

Author: Rob DeSalle

Illustrator: Patricia J. Wynne

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Publisher: Bunker Hill Publishing,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Every aspect of the brain - from its physical composition to its many functions is explored and depicted in this nonfiction picture book. A pair of mice (Wallace and Darwin) add humor and add sidebar content to the book. This has potential as a high interest / low readability title. This nonfiction picture book combines photos and drawings and uses a comic-book-like format to teach kids about the brain.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, reluctant reader

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 8 and up

Age of Child: Read by a 9-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter loved the illustrations and laughed at Darwin and Wallace. She really liked how the drawings showed technology at work (like slicing the brain via an MRI).

Adult Reader Reaction: This is one of those books that you jump around in. You don't have to read it front-to-back, and that actually makes for more time spent reading. The pages are jam-packed with information and imagery which may overwhelm some readers at first glance. There are plenty of speech bubbles help break break it down into manageable pieces.

Pros: There is a ton of information that will make kids say "wow." It is also designed for various levels of reader: from the kid who can handle long paragraphs or the person who is more comfortable with one- or two-sentence paragraphs.

Cons: This is a book that you'll want to encourage your reader to take in pieces. It could easily overstimulate a developing reader.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a perfect book for the school or classroom library, as it will likely be checked out a lot. Unless your child is into anatomy and science, this will be a book they read and then move on.

If You Liked This Book, Try: BONES, BRAINS AND DNA; The Human Genome and Human Evolution   THE CIRCULATORY STORY   SAMMY'S DAY AT THE FAIR; THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM Featuring Gut Feelings and reactions

Educational Themes: This is a book for learning about the brain and offers comparative information across species

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, science, biology

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2011

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