Alvin Silverstein ZENA SUTHERLAND and MAY HILL ARBUTHNOT - Essay

ZENA SUTHERLAND and MAY HILL ARBUTHNOT

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The Silversteins's] work is carefully organized and written in a clear, direct style, and is dependably accurate. The more complicated subjects are not always covered in depth, but they are given balanced treatment, and the Silversteins' writing usually shows their attention to current research and always maintains a scientific attitude. (p. 463)

Pervading [Hamsters] is an attitude of respect for the rights and well-being of pets, and there is no trace of fictionalization or anthropomorphism.

The Silversteins have written many books in a series called "Systems of the Body," with books like The Skeletal System (1972) and The Skin (1972) that have accurate texts, include facts on recent research, and give lucid explanations of intricate physiological functions. In Exploring the Brain (1973) the authors give a good overview of what is known on the subject, discussing both the functioning of the brain and the nervous system, and citing laboratory experiments on the effects of drugs and of illness on the human brain. They also discuss memory, intelligence, dreams, and extrasensory powers. Their emphasis on current research is evident in this book as in others; it is stressed particularly in The Code of Life (1972), which explores genetic engineering as well as genetic inheritance and how it functions, and in The Chemicals We Eat and Drink (1973), which discusses the benefits or dangers of chemicals in foods, with findings based on testing programs and research studies. The book also considers, as do other Silverstein books, effects on the society, and suggests citizen support of pollution control and of supervisory legislation. (pp. 463-64)

Zena Sutherland and May Hill Arbuthnot, "Informational Books," in their Children and Books (copyright © 1947, 1957, 1964, 1972, by Scott, Foresman and Company; reprinted by permission), fifth edition, Scott, Foresman, 1977, pp. 444-505.∗