Alvin Silverstein Susan Catania - Essay

Susan Catania

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The Silversteins have skillfully abstracted, from a great pile of highly technical information, the points most pertinent in man's probing of animals' and plants' secrets [in Bionics: Man Copies Nature's Machines]. Their sources include recent studies by scientists all over the world; many of these studies are reported with specific, though appropriately informal, references. This approach, together with the authors' stress on practical uses of the data and on hopes for further such uses, helps readers to appreciate the very current relevance of bionics…. Readers will learn, among numerous other things, how leopard frogs see, how some moths elude bats, why dolphins can swim so fast and how astronauts can move under enormous stresses of gravity…. [This is up-to-date and] an important selection for any library.

Susan Catania, "Book Reviews: 'Bionics: Man Copies Nature's Machines'," in School Library Journal, an appendix to Library Journal (reprinted from the May, 1971 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1971), Vol. 17, No. 9, May, 1971, p. 79.

The Silversteins have skillfully employed the analogies of facets of telecommunications systems to assist in explaining the organization and functioning of the human central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems [in The Nervous System: The Inner Networks]…. The evolution of the human brain, the functions of the various parts, and the accompanying "map" of the cerebral cortex comprise the best explanation that has been developed for older children…. Throughout the book, insofar as the rather difficult material permits, the young reader is involved by asking him to perform certain exercises, and this device will maintain his interest. Every school and public library needs this book, and classroom collections in the biological sciences should have it too.

"Medical Sciences: 'The Nervous System: The Inner Networks'," in Science Books (copyright 1971 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science), Vol. VII, No. 1 (May, 1971), p. 70.