That's What You Think!: A Mind-Boggling Guide to the Brain

& others. tr. from German by Jen Metcalf. photos by Jan von Holleben. 184p. Die Gestalten Verlag/Little Gestalten. 2015. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9783899557251.
Gr 5–7—Devoted to the nervous system's central command, the brain, this well-designed European contribution is both subtle and engaging. The authors cover memory, consciousness, the effects of nutrition, and changes in the brain, among other topics. Each section within these chapters begins with a question ("Which Animal Has the Biggest Brain?" "Where Does Our Brain Store Foreign Languages"), followed by a thorough answer. The authors don't hesitate to broach somewhat difficult topics, such as Alzheimer's disease, brain damage, and concussions. The text is broken up with quirky photographs of children in action or of relevant objects ("Can Plants Think?" is accompanied by an image of flowers sporting eyeglasses, while "Could a Brain Ever Grow Bigger than a Head?" features a picture of a boy with a gigantic green balloon over his head). The Hertie Foundation, the biggest private funder of brain research in Germany, provided much of the funding and research that went into the book. This title contains no index, so using it for an assignment might be difficult. However, it provides clear and concise material that any science-inspired student would find engaging and informative.
VERDICT Those looking to beef up their nervous system sections should consider this unique offering. Readers won't find anything comparable this side of the Atlantic.

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