Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Wonderful Life with the Elements: The Periodic Table Personified Book Review by ChristineMM

My Star Rating: 5 stars out of 5 = I Love It

My Summary Statement: Whimsical Visual Personified Explanation of the Periodic Table of Elements

Title: Wonderful Life with the Elements: The Periodic Tale Personified
Author: Bunpei Yorifuji
Genre: Nonfiction, Science, Chemistry
Publication: No Starch Press, 2012 (English translation of the original Japanese book)

Originally published in Japan this small, whimsical book personifies the elements into men with characteristics assigned for the various facts. Odd hairstyles represent the chemical families, facial hair or lack thereof shows when it was discovered, thin, medium or fat bodies tell the atomic weight, the leg type shows the matter state (gas, liquid, or solid), and clothing shows the element’s utility type. What the element stands upon gives a clue to its use in our lives (a space shuttle, a yen, a transistor).

Each element has a page or a two-page spread of writing and illustration to inform the reader, which makes up the bulk of the book.

The arrangement of the periodic table is explained in the beginning. The chapter “how to eat the elements” explains that the human body needs minerals and the only way to get them is through eating or drinking them. Having originally been published in Japan the two sample meals shown to illustrate what to eat to get important minerals are Japanese meals such as miso, nori, and sardines. Eight pages at the end talk about the problem that will occur if we run out of minerals to mine on Earth, since minerals are so essential to our bodies and are used in our everyday lives. A poster of the periodic table with Yorifuji’s illustrations for each element is included.

This is a cool, fun, and educational book that discusses the periodic table in a non-threatening, non-boring and non-traditional way. Visual (in picture) learners will like this approach. Any book lover who loves the periodic table and enjoys seeing it written about or illustrated in different ways will find this book a “must own”. Those are the reasons I rate this book 5 stars = I Love It. I know my sons will enjoy reading and learning from this book in our family's homeschool.

Disclosure: I received one unit of this product from Amazon.com's Vine program for the purpose of reviewing it on the Amazon.com site. I was not paid to write the review or to blog it, nor was I under obligation to review it favorably.

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