By: Nadia Higgins
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 2013
Perhaps one of your favorite subjects in school is science. You may even want to be a biologist, “a scientist who studies living things.” There are several different areas to explore including zoology, plants, mycology, herpetology, or entomology. One way to explore these areas is through things such as “graphs, charts, and other infographics.” These presentations are an easy way to learn about life science visually, by looking at an assortment of facts instead of reading about them. Wow, there are a lot of organisms living on earth. Just what kinds are there and what is an easy way to show how many there are?
There are about “11.3 million species of organisms” living on earth. If you separate them into kingdoms there are bacteria, anchaea, protists, fungi, plants, and animals. One way to illustrate the percentages of animal species on earth would be to look at a pie graph. Insects comprise 73%, vertebrates 1%, and other invertebrates 26%. If you break those vertebrates out from that pie, you’ll be able to see at a glance some very interesting facts about them. Did you know that “about 6.8 million species live on Earth?” Once you check out that pie graph you’ll easily be able to see that most of them are insects.
One interesting thing about life science is DNA, a “super-important molecule [that] is the boss of every living thing--including you.” If you look at that “twisted ladder” flowing from one page to another you’ll be able to find out some very interesting facts about it. The DNA bases are four different colors, each of which have “fancy chemical names.” A little sidebar will tell you the surprising way scientists refer to them. Do you think you are way different than the next person? You’ll learn that “on average, the difference between one human’s DNA code and another humans is just 0.1 percent.” And that’s not the only interesting thing you’ll learn about life science in this book that’s literally packed with information for you to look at!
This is an amazing look at life science through a combination of infographics and text. The layout of the book is very vibrant and pops with colorful graphics and a swirl of information. The text moves quickly through organisms, the evolutionary process, DNA, body types, right on through to “10 Ways to Live Green,” a tie-in to the section on extinction and endangered species. Young readers, especially reluctant ones, who have difficulty absorbing large amounts of written information, will quickly be able to see the larger picture through these life science infographics. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore. Additional complementary, downloadable resources can be found on the publisher’s website.
Quill says: The Superscience Infographics series is perfect for the young reader who needs to get the whole picture!