Reviewer: Sandra E. Inouye, PhD (Midwestern University)
Description: This anatomy text is ideally suited for students in allied health and for undergraduate majors in biology, zoology, or art. It combines text on one page with illustrations on the facing page. The delightful didactic format makes learning anatomy an active, rather than passive, process.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide learners with an enjoyable, enlightening, and invigorating format for the study of human gross anatomy. Those objectives are worthy, given the plethora of anatomy texts that serve mostly as detailed references of anatomy. The authors easily meet their objective.
Audience: The book targets students in the allied health fields physical and occupational therapy, physician assistant, athletic training, and kinesiology and majors in biology, zoology, or art. However, it is not just limited to those areas; it is also a useful additional source of information for students in dentistry, nursing, and medicine. The authors are both credible in their areas. T. Alan Twietmeyer is a professor in the department of kinesiology at Concordia College and Thomas McCracken is a vice president for Visible Productions.
Features: The book provides a regional approach to nine systems of the human body and orders the material regionally within each system. For example, the unit on the muscular system covers muscles of the upper limb, muscles of the lower limb, muscles of the head and neck, and muscles of the skull. The book covers all of the major systems of the body, from the skeletal system to the endocrine system. There are several superb features, but the best is the didactic, interactive format of the text, where the reader is asked to fill in a chart, color a structure, label figures, etc. In this way, the book not only dispenses information, but also asks questions; this makes learning anatomy much more of a thought-provoking process than rote memorization. Best of all, it makes learning anatomy interesting, entertaining, and fun. Furthermore, the illustrations accompanying the text are beautiful, simple drawings, and they are clear, aesthetically pleasing, and accurate representations of the anatomical material. The book is well organized and the reader can easily find material of interest. An index and table of terminology also help guide the reader.
Assessment: This is a welcome competitor to the gross anatomy texts for allied health students and undergraduate biology majors, including the popular The Anatomy Coloring Book, by Kapit and Elson (Addison Wesley Longman, 2002). This book does not have the same level of detail, depth, or scope of information as The Anatomy Coloring Book, but it is superior in its layout, quality of illustrations, didactic format, and overall aesthetics. This third edition also brings some useful changes, including the adoption of a systemic model to the ordering of the material, as well as some layout changes. The text is presented on the left panel and illustrations on the facing panel, which allows for easier movement and clarity between text and illustrations. I would highly recommend this book to any undergraduate student taking an anatomy course or to allied health students taking a gross anatomy course. It is a clear, well designed, informative, and fun text to use to learn anatomy.