Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Periodic Table: Elements With Style!

In the category of How come didn't they have anything like this when I was a kid? is this entertaining book that brings the periodic table to life in a way that 10th grade chemistry class just didn't for me.

In The Periodic Table: Elements With Style, by Adrian Dingle and Simon Basher, the elements introduce themselves and describe their own unique personalities. ("I'm happy to mix in any social gathering of the elements," Magnesium says, "making friends with anyone, even moody hydrogen.") Basher's Pokemon-esque illustrations add to the fun.

The book is probably geared for kids around fourth grade, but for my 6-year-old it sparked a still-ongoing interest in the elements and the periodic table. He knows which ones are transition elements and which are alkaline earth metals. I'm not that advanced, but I did learn what sets the noble gases apart. How could I not catch on, after reading this description:

"The far right of the table is the classy neighborhood, for here lives the periodic table's royal family--the so-called 'noble gases.' This group is largely resistant to chemical reactions, seemingly above mixing or slumming it with the rest of the elements."

This is a great find for the budding scientist in your life!

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