The Molecules That Make You You

Albert Whitman. (Tell Me Why). Oct. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780807577745.
Gr 1-3–Wells presents information about DNA and how it makes each person unique. Although the title refers specifically to molecules, the focus of the book is the genetic system, moving from cells to molecules, chromosomes, and genes. A conversational tone addresses readers directly, asking questions such as what makes humans different from cats and from other human beings. Wells describes DNA as being an instruction manual, likening the structure to a much more complex version of instructions for building a robot. A small girl with tan skin and black hair, along with her ginger cat, act as hosts to the text, hanging off a double helix or sitting among towers of books. It’s a friendly presentation, even as the narrative never veers away from nonfiction. The digital images support the ideas in the text, such as demonstrating the lengths of DNA strands by wrapping them around the Earth. Diagrams are useful and contribute to understanding of the text that, although simple, presents complex ideas.
VERDICT This straightforward, easy-to-understand, and brightly illustrated book would make a good addition to any nonfiction collection looking to fill biology gaps.

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