Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Wonderful Life with the Elements is fantastic! Originally published in Japan, every element in the periodic table is represented in this book as a cute little man to make it easier to understand and remember that element’s properties, uses, and history. The drawings, in shades of yellow and black, are definitely quirky but for me that is part of their charm. Different hairstyles, clothing, and body types are used to give at-a-glance information about the elements. Hydrogen, for instance, is a special element that doesn’t fit into any category so he has a crown, and since hydrogen is a gas at room temperature his body is ghost-like. The heavier elements are fatter. The man-made elements look like robots.
At the back of the book is a small, fold-out, removable poster of the periodic table with the element men all lined up in their proper row formations. The front pages of the book have pie chart-like graphics that illustrate the relative abundance of each element in the Universe, the Earth, and the the Sun. There is also a fascinating section showing which elements humans have used in their everyday lives during various eras of history and prehistory.
I work as a tutor and plan to use this book with my chemistry students, but anyone interested in the nature of the world may enjoy perusing it. In my experience it’s difficult to put down--I’ve had a hard time getting it back from the several people I’ve shown it to.