When I was young the periodic table was about as much fun as a
tetanus shot. It lurked in the back of chemistry texts. When the
teacher would allude to it, the class would groan in unison. Dull,
dusty, and nothing to do with us. Recently I noticed there are some
books that jazz it up for a young audience.
In Adrian Dingle's Periodic Table: Elements With Style! each
element is drawn like a Pokemon character (some of the critters are
quite cute) and does a short narrative. Mercury's starts with "Quick
and deadly, that's me. I put the "mad" in Mad Hatter, and my ability
to poison the brain is legendary!" Standard information is also
Dan Green's Elements: the building blocks of the universe is a
fun read. It uses colorful photographs and cool random facts to
really bring chemistry to life. Hydrogen contains a narrative of the
Hindenberg explosion illustrated by the great blimp on fire. A two
page spread of fireworks over Washington, DC is accompanied by a
listing of which element creates each color. A tarantula just about
leaps off the page as you learn that copper makes its blood blue.
With books like these today's kids will probably take more
interest in the periodic table and chemistry--a very good thing in
this reviewer's mind.
On a personal note, I made the most delicious pancakes today:
chocolate chip with maple syrup and sliced strawberries on top.
A great big shout out goes out to our college students and professors
on vaca. May they catch up on work, rest up for the last part of the
semester, and have some fun.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod