Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fall Reading 2018 Science Comics: The Brain: The Ultimate Thinking Machine


Wow - the brain is amazing and so is this tour of what it accomplishes for us. Our guides through all that information are two sisters, Nour and Fahama, and a couple of their neighbors, a mad scientist and his assistant. It turns out that these neighbors are brain experts since one is a disembodied brain named Dr. Cerebrum and his assistant is a zombie ("Braaains"). As Fahama tries to keep her own brain inside her skull, she stalls for time by getting Dr. Cerebrum to explain all the intricacies of the brain and everything connected to it or controlled by it.

Topics covered include the evolution of life from single-celled organisms to today's humans with their complex brains, the various types of cells that make up the brain and nervous system, the jobs of those cells, the five senses, memory, and everything else related. The discussion of sight and sound gets into the details of wavelengths and frequencies. The different types of memory are covered and there is even guidance on the best way to study for a test.

One of my favorite sections describes the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. They are illustrated as a Star Trek bridge crew with the reaction to a perceived danger and the fight or flight response embodied by the captain (complete with gold command shirt), and the "chilling system" that helps you calm down when the danger is over portrayed by an ultra-calm crewman in science officer blue. (You gotta love a classic reference like that.)

Although this topic is interesting, it is complex and full of difficult vocabulary - even with the illustrations for support. The several pages of glossary in the back are helpful, but this is not light reading. I would recommend it for middle grades and up.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

1 comment:

  1. I saw your link in a listserv email and decided to check this out. I'm so glad you shared your review!! I'm in a middle/high school, but I've been working to increase our graphic novel section. Even though these might be geared more toward younger kids, I really think I'm going to get some of this series for my library for fun/entertaining learning. Thanks for sharing this!