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The Way We Workby David Macaulay
Synopses & Reviews
In The Way Things Work, David Macaulay gave readers a clear understanding of how machines operate. In his new book, The Way We Work, he illuminates the most important machine of all — the human body. This book is about you and how and why you are what you are. Your body is made up of various complex systems, and Macaulay is a master at making the complex understandable. He shows how the parts of the body work together, from the mechanics of a hand, to the process by which the heart pumps blood, to the chemical exchanges necessary to sustain life.
The Way We Work shows how individual systems — circulatory, respiratory, lymphatic, digestive, nervous, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal, and reproductive — work together to make the human body function the way it does. Beginning with cell structure and the DNA that defines us, and ending with the cells from a man and a woman combining to create new life, this captivating journey brilliantly shares with readers the science of ourselves.
This book is for you and everyone you know. It can serve as a resource for children, families, teachers, and anyone who has questions about how the body works. It is an engaging guide that introduces you to you. Readers will come away with a new appreciation of the amazing world inside the human body. When you open the cover you will see how David Macaulay builds a body and shows you The Way We Work. There is no other book like it.
"A Caldecott Medalist and MacArthur Fellow, perhaps best known for his pithily written, illuminatingly illustrated The Way Things Work, Macaulay has devoted himself for years to this illustrated guide aimed at demystifying the workings of the human body. Picture book or not, adults may constitute a significant percentage of its eventual audience. The book is astonishingly comprehensive, beginning with the structure of a cell, traveling through various systems (e.g., respiratory, digestive, etc.) and ending with childbirth. Followers of Macaulay will expect some wit, and it is evident, not just in captions but in throwaways, as in an explanation of taste that acknowledges that smell is 'the senior partner.' However, the writing is often highly technical ('When a nonsteroid hormone arrives at its target cell, it binds to a receptor protein projecting from the cell's surface'). The full-color drawings may help readers understand the language, but despite the friendly format, with one topic per spread, this is not a book for casual browsing nor for most preteens. On the other hand, motivated teens will feel they've gone to premed heaven. Ages 10 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
After grappling with the biggest and most complicated structures man has made — cathedrals, mosques, pyramids, dams, bridges, skyscrapers and more — it is fitting that David Macaulay has now turned to the building blocks of life and a feat of engineering that man did not create. Macaulay wants his readers to understand and appreciate the human body's inner workings. As he puts it in his introduction,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) "why wait for trouble to stimulate curiosity?" Macaulay begins with the cell and ends with the imminent birth of a baby, along the way exploring the body's various systems and their interdependence. The appeal of Macaulay's books is not limited to 10-year-olds, of course, and the daunting amount of information here (explaining such phenomena as actin filaments and antibody attacks) is balanced by his playful and ingenious pencil-and-watercolor illustrations. These pictures offer great detail and helpful analogies. One page, for instance, likens the liver to an industrial manufacturing plant, with the gallbladder drawn as a water tower. After journeying through the amazing world he's created here — complete with a well-run factory town (the endocrine system) and amusement-park rides that make their way through several systems — one can forgive Macaulay even for bad puns like "Pumping Ions." Abby McGanney Nolan regularly reviews children's books for The Washington Post Book World. Reviewed by Abby McGanney Nolan, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"The work of this Caldecott medal winner and recipient of the McArthur grant is always a must-have." VOYA
"At times challenging due to the nature of the topic...the text incorporates the same subtle humor found in the artwork to enhance the book's appeal without sacrificing its utility." School Library Journal
"Though it's an unlikely choice for a little light reading, the accuracy, detail and depth of information make this an essential addition." Kirkus Reviews
In this comprehensive and entertaining resource, multi award-winner David Macaulay reveals the inner workings of the human body as only he can. This one-of-a-kind book takes readers on a visual journey through the human body. With his trademark humor, Macaulay builds a body and explains how it works.
In this comprehensive and entertaining resource, David Macaulay reveals the inner workings of the human body as only he could. In order to present this complicated subject in an accurate and entertaining way, he put in years of research. He sat in on anatomy classes, dissections, and even reached inside the rib cages of two cadavers to compare their spleen sizes. He observed numerous surgeries, including a ten-hour procedure where a diseased pancreas was removed, as well as one where a worn-out old knee was replaced by a brand new one. This hands-on investigation gives Macaulay a unique perspective to lead his readers on a visual journey through the workings of the human body.
The seven sections within the book take us from the cells that form our foundation to the individual systems they build. Each beautifully illustrated spread details different aspects of our complex structure, explaining the function of each and offering up-close glimpses, unique cross-sections and perspectives, and even a little humor along the way.
This one-of-a-kind book can serve as a reference for children, families, teachers, and anyone who has questions about how his or her body works. When readers see how David Macaulay builds a body and explains the way it works, they will come away with a new appreciation of the amazing world inside them.
About the Author
David Macaulay is the author and illustrator of many exciting and unusual books for readers of all ages including Building Big, the companion book to the successful PBS series, and Caldecott Medal winner Black and White. Superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information distinguish all of his books.Mr. Macaulay has been nominated as the United States representative for the Hans Christen Andersen Award in illustration. The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children's books whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature. He lives and works in Rhode Island.
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