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June 06, 2007

Here’s another nice review of The Periodic Table: Elements With Style!

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
June 2007

DINGLE, ADRIAN The Periodic Table: Elements with Style!; illus. by Simon Basher. Kingfisher, 2007 128p

Paper ed. ISBN 0-7534-6085-8          $8.95                                                   R Gr. 4-8


“What librarian hasn’t watched in agony as a student cuts and pastes together a report comprising material far beyond their academic reach? If a science assignment has them scurrying for data about the elements, here’s a handy little number to bring the subject down to (or up from) earth. After a brief introduction to Mendeleev’s famous table and a spread on the chart-topping loner, hydrogen, Dingle presents the elements by group, beginning with comments on their similarities (“[The noble gases] were once called the inert gases, meaning completely unreactive, but this isn’t entirely true-some of them have been caught in clandestine clinches with other elements”), offering a thumbnail “portrait” of each element in the group, and then highlighting in a double-page spread the most famous, report-worthy, or just plain quirkiest of the lot. Data on featured elements includes symbol, atomic number and weight, color, standard state, classification, density, boiling and melting points (opting, where there’s scientific disagreement, for the British figure), a diagram of the position on the periodic table, a full-page original anime-styled icon (helium is a pink, cloudlike balloon), and descriptive paragraphs that rise from informative all the way to entertaining: “Quick and deadly, that’s me,” boasts Mercury. “I put the ‘mad’ in Mad Hatter, and my ability to poison the brain is legendary. A sinister, silver-coated killer, I am a strange and stealthy liquid metal that easily vaporizes into toxic fumes.” An index and glossary are included, and Basher also provides a detachable poster of the table. When you spot a researcher on the Internet with telltale glazed eyes, rush to the rescue with this inviting ready reference. EB



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