by Bunpei Yorifuji
September 2012, 208 pp.
Hardcover with pull-out poster
From the brilliant mind of Japanese artist Bunpei Yorifuji comes Wonderful Life with the Elements, an illustrated guide to the periodic table that gives chemistry a friendly face.
In this super periodic table, every element is a unique character whose properties are represented visually: heavy elements are fat, man-made elements are robots, and noble gases sport impressive afros. Every detail is significant, from the length of an element's beard to the clothes on its back. You'll also learn about each element's discovery, its common uses, and other vital stats like whether it floats—or explodes—in water.
Why bother trudging through a traditional periodic table? In this periodic paradise, the elements are people too. And once you've met them, you'll never forget them.
About the Author
Japanese artist Bunpei Yorifuji is well-known for his series of humorous ads for the Tokyo metro, "Do It At Home," which show riders doing inappropriate activities on the subway. He is the author of several books in Japanese, including Milk Century and The Catalogue of Death.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Elements in the Living Room
"The astonishing attention to scientific details demonstrate a sophisticated grasp of the concepts and some serious artistic chops, but the real joy lies in Yorifuji's infectious, playful enthusiasmbound to draw in even the most entrenched science-phobes."
"A great book for chemistry students and anyone who loves to see chemistry and comics in tandem."
"The charming micro-vignettes nudge the young reader towards that ever-marvelous space where science and whimsy intersect."
"The best word to describe this gem from another culture is idiosyncratic, others include informative and entertaining. A new window into the teaching of the elements. Upper school pupils will love it."
"Even the most serious chemist will enjoy seeing such illustrations as nitrogen personified floating above a stick of TNT, sporting a beard and mohawk. Playful and endearing in a way that conveys a real appreciation for the elements."
"If chemistry seems cold and unfriendly, Wonderful Life with the Elements: The Periodic Table Personified by Bunpei Yorifuji will help you get to know it better… and make you laugh out loud."
"Recommended" by Choice.
"A new, fascinating way to learn about the elements."
"Takes the Periodic Table and transforms it into a learning experience."
"This book would make a great gift for any aspiring young scientist or even an adult who loves to learn."
"It's one of the most entertaining and interesting books I've ever readon any subject!"
"The original presentation of this material and the amusing personal touches are fantastic and turn this book into a fun, easy read."
Featured on American Chemical Society's C&EN blog (Read More)
Deborah Blum of Wired.com Science "smitten" by the book. (Read More)
Featured on Wired.com's Underwire blog (Read More)
"This book takes the boring old periodic table and enhances it, giving the elements a life and spirit of their own all while teaching readers about those elements."
"The art is both sweet and clear, with brown and yellow cartoons on uncluttered pages that pack a wallop of information."
Featured in Otaku USA Magazine's October 2012 issue! (Read More)
Featured on Laughing Squid (Read More)
"Yorifuji's personification worked for me. I never took chemistry in high school and so have an incomplete understanding it. Wonderful Life with the Elements gave the Periodic Table contours I was able to grasp."
"It's an entertaining and charming read that turns studying the periodic table into an experience more like reading cartoons than hitting the science books."
"Wonderful Life with the Elements is presented in a way that its contents have a better chance of being remembered than typical textbook information. Every chemistry classroom or school library should have at least one printed or ebook copy."
"If you think that the Periodic Table of Elements is merely a boring compilation of chemical elements, you haven't read this book."
"It's easy to read, and full of fascinating facts about the elements."
Featured on Girls' Life Magazine's website (Read More)
Featured in ScienceNews (Read More)
Featured on The Presurfer (Read More)
"Yorifuji not only makes the periodic table visually appealing and easier to remember, he makes it a joy to learn about with an important message for chemists and non-chemists alike."
Featured on The Awesomer (Read More)
"Whether you need a little extra help in science class or you're just geek-chic enough to love the Periodic Table, Wonderful Life with the Elements should be added to your library immediately."
"I really enjoyed reading Wonderful Life with the Elements. It was fun, and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know before."
"I highly recommend the imaginative and readily understood book to any students, educators, business people working with any of the elements, and to any interested individuals seeking an enjoyable way to learn and comprehend the chemical elements and the Periodic Table."
"Learning about the elements has never been so accessible and fun. What a treat."
"I highly recommend Wonderful Life with the Elements as a companion to the science classroom."
"After reading this book, I do not look at an ordinary periodic table the same way anymore."