Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Way We Work

wayweworkThe Way We Work – Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body
From David Macaulay
Published at Houghton Mifflin Books

About the book

In The Way Things Work, David Macaulay gave readers a clear understanding of how machines operate. In his new book, The Way We Work, he illuminates the most important machine of all—the human body. This book is about you and how and why you are what you are. Your body is made up of various complex systems, and Macaulay is a master at making the complex understandable. He shows how the parts of the body work together, from the mechanics of a hand, to the process by which the heart pumps blood, to the chemical exchanges necessary to sustain life.

The Way We Work shows how individual systems—circulatory, respiratory, lymphatic, digestive, nervous, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal, and reproductive—work together to make the human body function the way it does. Beginning with cell structure and the DNA that defines us, and ending with the cells from a man and a woman combining to create new life, this captivating journey brilliantly shares with readers the science of ourselves.

This book is for you and everyone you know. It can serve as a resource for children, families, teachers, and anyone who has questions about how the body works. It is an engaging guide that introduces you to you. Readers will come away with a new appreciation of the amazing world inside the human body. When you open the cover you will see how David Macaulay builds a body and shows you The Way We Work. There is no other book like it.

Who is David Macaulay?

David Macaulay, born in 1946, was eleven when his parents moved from England to Bloomfield, New Jersey. He found himself having to adjust from an idyllic English childhood to life in a fast paced American city. During this time he began to draw seriously, and after graduating from high school he enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). After spending his fifth year at RISD in Rome on the European Honors Program, he received a bachelor’s degree in architecture and vowed never to practice. After working as an interior designer, a junior high school teacher, and a teacher at RISD, Macaulay began to experiment with creating books. He published his first book, Cathedral, in 1973. Following in this tradition, Macaulay created other books—including City, Castle, Pyramid, Mill, Underground, Unbuilding, and Mosque—that have provided the explanations of the how and the why in a way that is both accessible and entertaining. From the pyramids of Egypt to the skyscrapers of New York City, the human race’s great architectural and engineering accomplishments have been demystified through Macaulay's elaborate show-and-tells. Five of these titles have been made into popular PBS television programs.

Macaulay and Mammoth ( Illustration from The New Way Things Work)

The range and breadth of his talent is also showcased in the more lighthearted picture books Rome Antics and Shortcut, as well as Black and White, which received the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1991.

Macaulay is perhaps best known for the award-winning international bestseller The Way Things Work, which was expanded and updated in 1998 and renamed The New Way Things Work. This brilliant and highly accessible guide to the workings of machines was dubbed “a superb achievement” by the New York Times and became a New York Times bestseller. Using a humorous woolly mammoth to illustrate principles, Macaulay offers even the least technically minded reader a window of understanding into the complexities of today’s technology. He uses this same humorous approach and uncanny ability to explain complicated systems in The Way We Work, which tackles the most intricate machine of all: the human body.

David Macaulay’s detailed illustrations and sly humor have earned him fans of all ages. His books have sold more than three million copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. His many awards include the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, and the Washington Post–Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award. He was a two-time nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and received the Bradford Washburn Award, presented by the Museum of Science in Boston to an outstanding contributor to science.

In 2006 he was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, given “to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.” As “an individual of distinction in the field of children’s literature,” Macaulay delivered the esteemed 2008 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, an honor bestowed on him by the American Library Association.

David Macaulay lives with his family in Vermont.

My Thoughts

Here’s another marvelous book from David Macaulay but this time it concentrates only on the human body and its different parts.

Seven chapters make out this book and once again the marvelous illustrations of David Macaulay will show how the systems in our body works to help us live.j

  • Building Life will explains everything related to the cell and how it multiplies itself.  
  • Air Traffic Control will provide explanation on the respiratory and circulatory systems.
  • Let’s Eat is all about the digestive system from a to z.  Nothing is missed in this section.
  • Who’s in Charge Here? will be the section where you learn more about the nervous system and how our different senses work.
  • Battle Stations is the section which explains how the human body fights viruses.
  • Moving On will present the bones and muscles which allow us to move.
  • Extending the Line will present the reproductive system.

Soon after I received this book, one of my kids asked me why we had saliva.   Picking up the book I told him that we will check this out.  And we proceeded to the page explaining the role of saliva and how it helps in the process of digesting the food.    The colorful image next to it was very explanatory by itself and at first I got some “ewww” but eventually he looked at it a bit more.  Here’s some examples of what the pages look like (this was taken from thanks to the Click to LOOK Inside feature.


I think this book is a wonderful addition in a personal library and will illustrate quite precisely how the human body work.   The illustrations are breathtaking and will help to grasp the way the different body parts function so we can live.   This is a perfect reference and informational book for any child interested in deepening the comprehension on the human body.   I highly recommend it to every homeschoolers out there!

The Way We Work is available at your favourite bookstore, even

Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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