All you need to know about Exploring the Elements

Our new children’s book bonds hard science with fun facts in its brilliant exploration of the periodic table
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Exploring the Elements
Exploring the Elements

It is, perhaps the most widely recognised science graphic ever created. Yet do you really know how the periodic table works? What do the numbers mean? How about the columns? And what of the elements themselves? Did you know that everything in the universe is made of just 92 basic building blocks? Or that it actually takes more of those different elements to build a smartphone than it does to create a human being?

A spread from Exploring the Elements
A spread from Exploring the Elements

Readers as young as eight can now grasp all these important concepts via our new children’s book, Exploring the Elements. This beautifully illustrated, detailed and carefully written new title is the perfect guide to the fundamentals of physics and chemistry. The renowned science writer Isabel Thomas, winner of the 2020 AAAS/Subaru Children’s Book Prize, ushers us from simple explanations of elements, through to more detailed understandings of atomic structure, atomic weight and reactivity. 

A spread from Exploring the Elements
A spread from Exploring the Elements

Kids who familiarise themselves with these pages will not only gain a vital understanding of why the periodic table arranges the universe’s elements in its familiar columns and rows; they will also take in hundreds of bright little facts that enliven and enrich this particular reading experience. Did you know, for example, that a scorpion’s sting is filled with potassium? Or that we live on a planet with a solid iron core, surrounded by a ball of liquid iron, while the larger planets in our Solar System, Jupiter and Saturn, are mostly made of hydrogen? Or that plane engineers are using ceramics such as zirconium carbide to stop the world’s fastest planes from melting, mid-flight? Or that every switch in a car relies on contacts coated with a thin layer of silver?

A spread from Exploring the Elements
A spread from Exploring the Elements

The book lists every element, shows its place on the table, lists its properties, describes its uses, and mentions whether  it occurs in the human body. There’s also an illustration of the atomic structure, and an easy guide to pronunciation.

A spread from Exploring the Elements
A spread from Exploring the Elements

These hard facts  are made all the more appetising for young minds via Sara Gillingham’s award-winning art direction and illustrations. Her books such as Seeing Stars: The Complete Guide to the Constellations, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes, Busy Boats, and Animals in the Sky, have sold millions, and she remains a familiar presence on young people’s book shelves, having produced title after title that present adult subjects to young minds; and always in a fun and engaging way.

Exploring the Elements continues Sara and Isabel’s work. The book is the perfect gift for aspiring scientists, or any young person with a feel for the STEM subjects; parents keen to engender an appreciation for the wider world of chemistry and physics should add this to the Christmas list. Indeed, anyone wanting to refamiliarise themselves with some scientific basics would do well to read this book, with or without a child present!

To find out more, see further images, and order your copy, go to the Exploring the Elements page in our store.


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ABOUT PHAIDON

Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
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