The Egg and Sperm Race: discover the Human Body
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Our front cover this month features an illutration by Mark Longworth for Gillian Cross's new paperback, The Revenge of the Demon Headmaster. Puffin publish this book in April 1995 (see the Gillian Cross Authorgraph for full details) and we are grateful to them for their help in using this illustration.
Balkwill and Rolph did a wonderful job with their books on cells and DNA - explaining the virtually inexplicable in a quartet of handy-sized unconventional-looking volumes. Now, at twice the size and four times the formal-ness, comes a magnum opus answering the basic question 'What makes a body?'
The dauntless duo start with evolution, on to the egg and sperm bit, through cell differentiation, DNA, chromosomes, tissue structure, specialised organs, genetics and so to social evolution. It's a tall order but the expedient of using plain language and familiar examples to explain strange facts and situations cannot be bettered, and when we have this principle embodied in a book whose text and pictures show every sign of having developed together, then success ought to follow. I think it does, not least because Balkwill and Rolph consistently respect their subject and their reader - and as these two happen to be the same thing, a happy rapport results.