Article Text

ABC of One to Seven
  1. NICK JENKINS

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    ABC of One to Seven. Edited by Valman B. (Pp 146, paperback; £14.95.) London: BMJ Publishing Group, 1999. ISBN 0 7279 1232 1

    Share prices of dot.com companies have plummeted because, we are told, there are too many players in the market place for them all to be viable. The dot.com bubble has burst. This may also be true of paediatric textbooks.

    Such thoughts might trouble the authors and publisher of the fourth edition of the ABC of One to Seven, were it not for the pictures it contains. Is there really demand for another general paperback text covering well trodden ground, with predictable text and liberal use of blue boxes to convey the impression that there is a lot more colour than is really the case? Perhaps not, but for those pictures. This book isn't cheap, butmaybe that'sbecause of the pictures. In short, this book is worth the investment for the pictures alone.

    Medical students like to console themselves with thick books because many of us still hold fast to the well known belief that you can learn a lot about a subject by buying a “good book”, even without opening it. Perhaps the same is true of GPs; fat books with hardback covers are much more impressive shelf-fillers than paperbacks with pictures.

    But what about when the time comes to learn paediatrics? We need something on which to hang the facts of any textbook, and we all know the daunting effect of long paragraphs of plain text on page after page. This is where pictures and diagrams come into their own, and theABC of One to Seven has them in spades. They are almost always helpful and relevant—if not adding to the explanation, then proving the useful peg on which to hang a particular fact. Captions though, are few and far between. The reader can sometimes be left confused as to the purpose of a particular illustration. Several of the pictures appear two or three times and others are decidedly outdated. Ambulances and toys seem to be used as space fillers, but others, particularly the dermatological pictures, are excellent.

    This is no reference bible, and the text is simple and narrative. Facts are not flung at the reader, and the practical is emphasised over the theoretical. This is a book to demystify infancy and early childhood—the fear of the unknown can quickly be replaced with enthusiasm for such a fun subject area. The Colour Atlas of Kids: this bubble definitely remains intact.

    View Abstract

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.