You Just Can't Help It!

Your Guide to the Wild and Wacky World of Human Behavior
Gr 3—6—Four chapters focus on the senses, emotions, communication, and interpersonal relationships, and humorous examples depict a range of intriguing facts about human behavior. The conversational tone relates scientific ideas to topics relevant in popular culture, such as comparing instant messaging to signals sent from the amygdala or hypothalamus. Though occasionally flippant in tone, overall each fast-paced, energetic section features an intriguing glimpse into scientific study, covering such topics as a mother's preference for her own child's soiled diapers and how the act of waving spreads through a crowd of fans in a stadium. Succinct answers convey both brevity and clarity. Direct questions encourage readers' participation. "If you had to choose between candy and vegetables, which would you choose?" (The popular choice is sweets, of course, though the text explains that a preference for sugar is apparently present in the fetus.) Fascinating statistics are interspersed among punchy color photographs. A long list of the experts consulted concludes this dynamic entry, but there are no source notes. A surprising amount of information is conveyed in these snazzy trivia snippets, which are likely to illicit both numerous "eews" and "cools," all in one satisfied breath.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC
Four chapters cover human senses, emotions, communication, and relationships. The frenetic double-page spreads are filled with facts (some scientific, others less so), computer-manipulated photos, optical illusions, and comic-style step-by-step descriptions of "Cool Study" experiments (e.g., "Love Those Diapers," "What's a Yawn Say?"). Despite the over-the-top format, there are some interesting tidbits to be gleaned. Ind.

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