Light and Entertaining Overview

The Making of You: The Incredible Journey from Cell to Human - Vestre,  Katharina

The Making of You by Katharina Vestre would be a good resource for parents and educators of young people looking for a fun but straightforward answer to the inevitable question about how babies develop in utero.  Adults will also appreciate the light and non-controversial approach taken by Vestre, along with her pleasant colloquial tone and personal asides.  Also included are some schematic drawings that depict various developmental stages as an accompaniment to the text, but these are not as precise or detailed as those that would appear in a more academic work. Comprehension of complex topics like genetics and biological chemistry is aided by the inclusion of interesting trivia and riveting scientific discoveries-particularly those that draw comparisons of human evolution with that of insects and other animals. The book’s short format and humor helps to sustain interest and encourages discussion about what can go awry without becoming overly dramatic or didactic. The Making of You is far from comprehensive, however, and can be somewhat confusing when it vacillates between sections that use either a chronological or a systems approach.  Some of Vestre’s anecdotes and asides may also require translation for an American audience who may not be familiar with some of her cultural references (eg. dummy=pacifier). Overall, Vestre’s simple approach and obvious enthusiasm provide a nice alternative for those seeking a quick overview or broad introduction to a fascinating subject.


Thanks to the author, Greystone Books and Library Thing for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.