By Cynthia Pratt Nicolson, Kids Can Press, $16.95, 40 pages

10Why do you feel ticklish? Why do you have two ears? Why do you get hiccups? Why do you cry? If you have ever wondered why humans do the things they do, there is a new book that answers these questions. Totally Human: Why We Look and Act the Way We Do explains our odd and quirky behaviors.

This book is perfect for young children and teens. The answers are well-written and will make readers think. The illustrations, including collage art, highlight the trait in question. For example, “Why do you cry?” is accompanied by two kittens bawling their eyes out because (as we find out) only humans can cry. The pictures are sure to make readers laugh. Author Cynthia Pratt Nicolson takes kids on a journey through time, back to the days of our ancestors. She illustrates the evolutionary traits we all have in common. Nicolson does a wonderful job of sharing insights into the historical reasons for our current behaviors. Why did cavemen need to cry? Read Totally Human to find out. Parents will be happy to have this book on the shelf, ready to pull out when they are asked these questions by quizzical kids.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin