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*The Periodic Table: Elements with Style!* by Adrian Dingle, illustrated by Simon Basher- young readers fantasy book review
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The Periodic Table: Elements with Style!
by Adrian Dingle, illustrated by Simon Basher
Ages 9-12 128 pages Kingfisher May 2007 Paperback    

This isn’t your father’s periodic table; it’s way too much fun for that. High school chemistry teacher Adrian Dingle and artist Simon Basher have conspired to make science entertaining and accessible to budding chemists with their book The Periodic Table: Elements with Style!.

Each of the elements on this flashy periodic table introduces itself with its own page, presenting its history, uses and tendencies in an easy, conversational style. Children will recognize where they might encounter the elements in daily life. Also included is technical information such as the element’s atomic number, density, classification, date of discovery and melting and boiling points. Getting to know the elements has never been so enjoyable!

Simon Basher’s illustrations are priceless. His artwork, described as filling the gap between “edgy manga and the cuteness of Hello Kitty,” provides each element with an easily identifiable personality. For example helium is depicted as a noble-looking balloon, silver as an electrical-conducting tooth, silicon as a smiling, insect-like computer chip, and Einsteinium is, well, a unique picture of you-know-who. Dingle’s prose and Basher’s artwork mesh seamlessly together to provide each element with its own distinguishing persona.

The title page, and also an included poster, shows the periodic table in its customary pattern. But the elements are color-coded into groups or families and incorporate Basher’s illustration of each element. Within the pages of the book, the elements are again assembled by their groups or families and therefore not listed in numerical order. So, if you’re looking for neon (#10 on the periodic table), you need to know that it’s grouped with the Noble gases, and won’t be found until near the end of the book.

Adrian Dingle has taught in both the U.S. and the U.K. and is the creator of the award-winning chemistry website Simon Basher lives in England and is an artist and designer.

Undoubtedly, this book will light a flame in children (and adults, too!) for an interest in science – no Bunsen Burner needed!

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