THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE ELEMENTS: THE POWERS, USES, AND HISTORIES OF EVERY ATOM IN THE UNIVERSE, by Lisa Congdon, Chronicle Books; Illustrated edition, July 13, 2021, Hardcover, $22.99 (ages 10 and up)
Introduce young readers to the universe’s unique building blocks in Lisa Congdon’s The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements leads young readers in an exploration of all 118 known elements. From their discoveries to their uses to their special properties, this book explores all things elements. It features: a tour of the periodic table; profiles of notable scientists; infographics, and an illustrated history of the periodic table’s origins. —Synopsis provided by Chronicle Books
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements begins with the basics. Before jumping into the individual elements, Congdon talks about what elements are and goes over atoms, compounds, states of matter, and alchemy and ancient chemistry. Next comes a spread on the organizer of the elements and author of the periodic table. That’s followed by a section on how to actually read the periodic table.
It’s not until Page 22 that Congdon starts in on the actual elements themselves. Each one features a brief description of the element, how it is used, and what other elements it is often paired with. A box with the category, year discovered, who the element was discovered by, and a fun fact is also included.
While the suggested age for The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements is 10 and up, I think you can go younger.
For example, from the age of 4, my daughter has been fascinated by the periodic table. At first it was just the squares and letters, but over time it’s evolved to what those letters stand for and where those elements are found. For her 7th birthday, we gave her DK’s The Elements Book: A Visual Encyclopedia of the Periodic Table (ages 9 and up). She doesn’t understand everything, but spends hours at a time looking through it.
While the DK book features glossy photographs and smaller snippets of text, in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements), the text gets top billing. But with how it’s written, I didn’t hesitate to hand it to my daughter. Sure, she still has questions, but she loves it just the same.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Elements is a fantastic resource for young readers. With science, history, trivia, and much more, it has the making of a great gift for budding scientists and kids who just want to know more about the world around them.
© 2021, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.