Alvin Silverstein Isadora Kunitz - Essay

Isadora Kunitz

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The emphasis [in Cancer] is on chemical reactions within and between cells because cancer cures will probably be found in this area. Information on pollutants which contain carcinogens is also included. Although full comprehension requires some knowledge of human physiology, the book is smoothly written and students can learn about this disease and the difficulties of finding its cure. However, there are two shortcomings: cell division is mentioned first in relationship to abnormalities and DNA changes and only later is it discussed as a normal process; and cigarette smoking is noted as a cause of cancer, but a detailed explanation of the causality is lacking.

Isadora Kunitz, "Grades 3-6: 'Cancer'," in School Library Journal, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the February, 1973 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1973), Vol. 19, No. 6, February, 1973, p. 72.

Although somewhat misleading in title, since movement of plants, ciliated protozoa and various hydraulic structures are included, [The Muscular System: How Living Creatures Move] is an interesting, quite well-illustrated and very readable account of movement in various species. The authors explore the ways the human muscular system is similar to that of other animals—the contractile protein of the paramecium, the specialized muscles of earthworms, the streamlining of water animals—and the ways that the human muscular system is especially suited to human activities. The organization of material is not altogether logical, but the defect is fairly well compensated for by a full index. More careful editing would have caught such errors as attributing involuntary blinking to smooth muscle action and using "stomach" instead of "abdomen." A very good feature is the large number of simple experiments, using the reader's own body or readily available materials, interspersed through the text.

"Human Physiology: 'The Muscular System: How Living Creatures Move'," in Science Books (copyright 1973 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science), Vol. VIII, No. 4 (March, 1973), p. 344.