REFERENCE

The Ultimate Human Body Encyclopedia: The Complete Visual Guide

Welbeck. Apr. 2023. 160p. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781804535035.
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Gr 3-8–This highly visual work provides a comprehensive look at the human body. Richards reimagines the typical organization of anatomy books, straying from segmenting content into simple body systems (e.g., muscular, circulatory, etc.) and leaning more toward grouping system functions together (e.g., protection, control). Each page features technical, computer-generated illustrations and photographs of various organs and cutaways of the body, accompanied by labels and explanations. The visual aspects of this title are quite engaging; however, the writing and design leaves something to be desired. The various banners, boxes, and borders seem randomly placed on the pages, with little connection to other insets and the main text. The text on each page also lacks differentiated typesets, like bold keywords, making it difficult for readers to locate certain terms that will aid in their comprehension. The matter-of-fact delivery of information is presented in a neutral tone, which can be interpreted as dry or disengaging, but it does complement the illustrations appropriately. The author lists sources that were used for illustrations and photos, but there is no further reading or bibliography listed to aid readers in continuing their research.
VERDICT This book would be a great start for younger readers with a budding interest in human anatomy; older readers may want to look elsewhere for a better organized and more functionally designed choice.

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