The Periodic Table: Elements With Style!
That is the heading of this small, pocket-sized book. Artist Simon Basher mixes science and art to produce a unique visual interpretation of the periodic table. Just over 50 elements are in here (54 to be exact). The format is: Each double page is an element. On the left side you have the text, telling you about the element. By the text there are a set of facts. The text is written as if the element could speak (I am a real tough nut, I am Sodium's twin brother), which is intentionally humorous. On the right side there is a styilised picture of the element. To give you an example of this, the picture for Tin is a tin can (with the lid open), with a spider-like creature on it. The creature has a grin but his eyes are shut. All the pictures are like this, strange-looking creatures with grins (or scowls) with their eyes shut. Another example is Helium. The picture is an orange background, with a cloud shaped creature (without arms or legs) on it. The cloud shape is pink with a small mouth and two closed eyes. At the base of it a balloon bottom and a string is attached. To explain this, Helium is a gas, hence the cloud shape (all the noble gases are cloud-shaped). It's most common use in society is that is used to fill up balloons that float to the ceiling, that are used at parties, hence the balloon bottom and string.
An example of the text is:
Quiet and unassuming, I'm colourless, odourless and tasteless. Some say I lack personality, but they don't recognise true greatness. I am the powerhouse behind most chemical reactions on Earth. Without me, you die.—Excerpt from the text for Oxygen
I haven't read this but skimmed through it at local shop Waterstones. It looks great!
The Periodic Table is a fantastic book. It's an unusual size, a small pocket-sized book, and that sets the tone for the rest of the book. Each element gets a page (apart from a few of the unusual ones, which aren't included.) As well as a great educational book, each element writes about itself from first-person, with some wry humour included on most. The illustrations are brilliant as well. In short, it's great: education and laughs in perfect harmony.
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- Reading Age: 12+
- Reading Aloud Age: 11+
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