Alvin Silverstein Sarah Gagné - Essay

Sarah Gagné

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)


Three million American children may feel that [The Left-hander's World] was written especially for them. The one child in ten who is left-handed already knows he faces certain inconveniences, but he should realize that many more exist, as he reads about the difficulties with left-handedness in our own and in other societies. The authors consider many other aspects of handedness: They look at "left-handed" plants and animals, such as vines and certain snail shells; describe the development of left and right hemispheres in the brain; discuss handwriting; and mention famous lefties from Leonardo da Vinci to Babe Ruth. A final chapter lists organizations, publications, and mail order dealers who cater to the left-handed…. [The] book is attractive and should be entertaining to righties as well as lefties.

Sarah Gagné, "Left-Handedness," in The Horn Book Magazine (copyright © 1978 by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. LIV, No. 3, June, 1978, p. 309.

Not everyone slated for braces will care to wade through a teething timetable, a history of tooth decay and its treatment from the ancient Egyptians on, and (with the Silversteins' own three children as examples) a classification of malocclusions and their causes [in So You're Getting Braces: A Guide to Orthodontics]. On the other hand, the intellectually curious reader of the authors' books on the brain, sleep, and body systems will miss here the usual research reports and sense of exploration. However, somewhere among all those tinsel-toothed millions there is no doubt a market for this extensive briefing on the various devices and what they do; perhaps some will even take to heart the chapter on "cooperation—the key to success." Essentially, an extended version of the pamphlet dentists should hand out but don't.

"Younger Non-Fiction: 'So You're Getting Braces: A Guide to Orthodontics'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1978 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLVI, No. 14, July 15, 1978, p. 753.