By: Jennifer Boothroyd
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 2012
As humans we have more things about us that are alike than not. For example, we all have arms, legs, heads, and torsos. There are some differences and most likely you’ve noticed that many of us have freckles, different colored eyes or hair. The “differences are called traits.” Perhaps if you think hard enough you can think of some other traits we have. The genes that are passed on to us from our birth parents “tell your body how to make different traits.” Each one of us has two copies of our genes, one from one parent and one from the other.
Take for example the genes for hair. One parent might have dark curly hair and the other light straight hair. If they have two children, one might have curly hair and the other straight. Can you think of any other hair combination that the children might have? Genes also control our eye color. If you look in the mirror you will see a “colored ring” that is the iris. The basic color of your eyes comes from the pigment, “a substance that gives color to something.” In this book you will also learn why some eyes can be sensitive to light, you’ll learn what alleles are, why brown is a dominant eye color, why more people have brown eyes, interesting facts about eyes in other hues, and many more interesting things about eye color.
This is a fun look at eye color for the young student in the “What Traits are in Your Genes?” series. As a beginning nonfiction book it is geared toward the newly independent reader. There are four basic “chapters” and the text is large and easy to read. The layout is bright, contains full-color photographs with informative captions that provide additional factual material or asks the student to think about what he or she sees. For example, one says that “Those with light-colored eyes can be more sensitive to light. Their eyes have less pigment to protect them.” In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, an activity (Track the Traits), and additional recommended book and website resources to explore. There are free downloadable educational resources on the publisher’s website.
Quill says: This is a basic nonfiction book for young students that will help them not only learn about their bodies, but also their genetic inheritance.