CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 12 . . . . February 17, 2006
It's All in Your Head: A Guide to Your Brilliant Brain.
Sylvia Funston and Jay Ingram. Illustrated by Gary Clement.
Toronto, ON: Maple Tree Press, 2005.
64 pp., pbk. & cl., $12.95 (pbk.), $21.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-897066-44-9 (pbk.), ISBN 1-897066-43-0.
Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.
Review by Patricia Fay.
WELCOME TO PARTS OF YOUR BRAIN THAT ARE IN SOME WAYS uniquely human.
You're going to get to know the superhero of your brain – your cortex. Your cortex sets your brain apart from the brains of other animals. It's the outer surface of your brain, and it's full of folds and crevices so you can pack more brain into a small space.
You do most of your thinking with your cortex. You're using it now to read these words. And it does all your imagining too. Try this: imagine a rhinoceros in your kitchen – right there by the fridge. Everything about your mental image of that rhino – its size, color, smell, the grunts it makes – was put together in your cortex.
And that's not all. Your right cortex is different from your left. A boy's cortex is different from a girl's. And your brain is different from everyone else's. Sometimes your cortex even creates its own stories – they're called dreams.
This very informative book explains how our brains work. It's All in Your Head is divided into four sections: senses, emotions, memory and thinking. Each section is packed with information, brain benders and sidebars with interesting facts and the latest research. Did you know that when people are hungry, the pupils of their eyes would expand when they see food?
There are also many things to try, like putting your fingers in your ears, then squeezing your fists as tightly as you can. The background noise gets louder…it is the sound of your muscles at work.
The book has a table of contents and an index. There is no glossary, but any difficult words are defined within the text. All the answers to the Brain Benders, Try This and any of the other logic problems are found on the second last page of the book.
Each page has several illustrations and large, bold headlines for each section to create a visually appealing layout. The illustrations add detail to the explanations and are perfect for the intended audience.
Patricia Fay is a teacher-librarian at Beaumont Elementary School in Winnipeg, MB, who, after reading this book, hopes to remember where she left her glasses!
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