How Do I Breathe?
The First Science Books series features uncomplicated texts, simple analogies and schematic illustrations to teach scientific principles to young readers. In How My Body Moves, a monkey leads the way through the relationships of the skeleton and joints to muscles, and the brain to the muscles via nerves. How My Heart Works discusses the function of the heart, with a squirrel showing how oxygen changes the color of blood to bright red when one side of the heart pumps blood through the lungs. Experiments are included in each book; in How Do I Breathe?, children can enclose candles in upturned jars and see the moment that the oxygen is used upby breathing into one jar, and placing it over the candle, readers will quickly understand that they have used up the oxygen in the air when they expel it. What is Balance? is the most engaging of the books, with one experiment that makes tipping an egg over impossible. But the illustrations are somewhat dull and fail to illuminate some of the principles being discussed. Overall, the series lacks a real spark or hook. (3-8)