Title: Science Comics: The Brain – The Ultimate Thinking Machine
By: Tory Woolcott
ISBN: 1626728003 (ISBN13: 9781626728004)
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
With Science Comics, you can explore the depths of the ocean, the farthest reaches of space, and everything in between! These gorgeously illustrated graphic novels offer wildly entertaining views of their subjects.
In this volume, Fahama has been kidnapped by a mad scientist and his zombie assistant, and they are intent on stealing her brain! She’ll need to learn about the brain as fast as possible in order to plan her escape!
How did the brain evolve? How do our senses work in relation to the brain? How do we remember things? What makes you, YOU? Get an inside look at the human brain, the most advanced operating system in the world . . . if you have the nerve!
I have read a couple of graphic novels in the Science Comics series (Science Comics: Plagues: The Microscopic Battlefield and Science Comics: Robots and Drones: Past, Present, and Future) and quite enjoyed those titles so thought I would pick up Science Comics: The Brain – The Ultimate Thinking Machine.
Fahama is essentially kidnapped and to be used as part of an experiment by “The Evil Brain”. Luckily, she is quick on her feet and keeps asking her captor questions. And this is where the reader picks up all the information about the brain.
I liked segments like the following where humour was interjected into the information being disseminated:
“The eye is one of my favorite body parts. EYE love it because it’s a CORNEA-copia of puns!”
“Your (vitreous) humor is the WORST.”
“I see what you did there.”
“What can I say? I’m a good PUPIL.”
I really enjoyed learning so many new things…for example – how and in what the
Egyptians kept when they mummified their dead. The jars were called canopic jars. They removed the brain through the back of the head via the Foramen magnum. Who knew? Or being told how fast nerve signals can move –> up to 540 kph (335 mph)!
I am a bit perplexed about Fahima’s sister – the Girl Scout with attitude… not sure I liked her bullying tactics or calling Troop 7 scum. Not very nice and not really something I like in a book (graphic novel or otherwise) where I know youth will be reading. Also, I found her attitude towards her mom to be disrespectful.
There were certainly little nuggets throughout that you could tell were for the younger crowd:
“The brain stem regulates things you don’t think about, like your heart rate and breathing, but it’s also in charge of things like sneezing and barfing!”
When discussing how large the neocortex is when flattened out like a newspaper or pizza box:
“That’s both gross and cool!”- ”Most things in biology are.”
One thing I have to say about this book is that it is filled with SO much information – I felt like my brain was going to explode (hee hee). I also at times found the transitions abrupt. For example, when discussing taste and then the next page jumps right into hearing. There needed to be a more gradual transition into the next topic. Possibly with further editing, these transitions would not seem so unexpected.
From my experience each volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic— plagues, solar systems, dinosaurs, coral reefs, the solar system, volcanoes, bats, flying machines, etc. So far, they are attractively illustrated graphic novels offering wildly entertaining views of their specific subject matters. The audience for these wonderful books seems to be very wide…elementary student, high schooler or an adult expanding their horizons… these graphic novels are wonderful for all.