You can't use your brain if you're a jellyfish

Fred Ehrlich

Book - 2005

Describes the different kinds of brains that animals have and how those brains are related to the skills and behavior exhibited by the animals.

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Maplewood, N.J. : Blue Apple Books 2005.
1st ed
Physical Description
39 p. : col. ill., col. map ; 27 cm
Main Author
Fred Ehrlich (-)
Other Authors
Amanda Haley (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

K-Gr. 3. The team who created You Can't See a Dodo at the Zoo (2005) offers an informative yet lighthearted comparison of animal brains. Following an overview of brain functions, Ehrlich briefly discusses invertebrate, vertebrate, primate, and human brains, emphasizing that each brain provides what a particular animal needs in order to survive--whether it be instinctive behavior, tool-making skills, or verbal and written communication. Haley's colorful cartoon illustrations pick up key ideas from the text and add vivacity to the presentation, especially the humorous verses appended to each section. Although the degree of specificity varies from animal to animal, the presentation introduces a complicated subject in a way that will provide young readers with the background they need for more detailed investigations. ((Reviewed December 1, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 3-5 -Starting with a mention of organisms that have no brains (jellyfish), Ehrlich moves on to consider animals with simple brains (worms, mosquitoes) that use instinct to guide them. Bigger animals with more complex cerebral activity-and what that means-are also discussed. The author then explains how humans are capable of learning, thinking, pondering, feeling, and guiding, thus making our brains the "best." (He points out that all animals have a brain that is just perfect for them and their environments.) The lengthy text alternates with amusing verses, e.g., "Animal brains/Have different shapes,/From little to big,/From bugs to apes." Haley's cartoon caricatures contribute to the humor. The book has a glossary, but it lacks a pronunciation guide. (How many readers are going to be able to sound out electroencephalographs or helminthologist?) The book is not detailed enough for research purposes, yet it is too advanced for youngsters without some background.-Sandra Welzenbach, Villarreal Elementary School, San Antonio, TX [Page 114]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Easy-to-understand language looks at the world of animal brains, giving clear and concise explanations of how they differ from human brains, in a fun-to-read science book that includes child-friendly artwork and a glossary of difficult words.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Explains how the brains of specific animals differ from human brains, including worms, mosquitoes, hawks, dogs, and monkeys.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Starting with the lowly earthworm, Dr. Fred Ehrlich looks at the brains of insects, birds, mammals, and finally humans. How are human brains different from those of other animals? What can they do that we can't? What can we do that they can't?Dr. Fred Ehrlich makes the most complicated subjects understandable to young minds. In his third contribution to this popular series, he again combines a fact-packed text with humorous verse to emphasize important points. Illustrated with Amanda Haley's child-friendly drawings. Includes a glossary of difficult words.