In a slightly timeworn device, this book uses the old song "Dem Bones" for a tour of the major bones of the human skeleton. While the tone is jokey, information is imparted in a scattershot fashion. For example, in discussing the anklebones: "They do- have neat names like `navicular,' and `calcaneus,' and `cuneiform.' But if you tell your friends you know all this, they will think you are terribly nerdy and won't talk to you for a week." The description of the cervical vertebrae reads, "The topmost neck bone holds up your head. (No, not your cantaloupe, Charlie!) It is called the atlas and is named after the giant who holds the world on his shoulders in a Greek story." A helpful suggestion is to "stop and run your hand along the bone or bones being described." Goofy cartoon illustrations include X-ray inserts for the parts under discussion. The final drawing is of a complete skeleton with the major bones identified, helpful to pull the book together. Seymour Simon's Bones (Morrow, 1998) and Barbara Seuling's From Head to Toe (Holiday, 2002) cover the same material and more; the three could form the beginning of an informative study unit.
Dona Ratterree, New York City Public Schools
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