The Periodic Table (Basher book)

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The Periodic Table:
Elements with Style
Periodic Table Elements with style.jpg
AuthorAdrian Dingle
IllustratorSimon Basher
Cover artistSimon Basher
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesSimon Basher Science
SubjectPeriodic table
PublisherKingfisher Publications (UK)
Macmillan (US)
Publication date
May 23, 2007
Media typePrint (Paperback)
Pages128 pages
Followed byPhysics: Why Matter Matters! 

The Periodic Table: Elements with Style is a 2007 children's science book created by Simon Basher and written by Adrian Dingle. It is the first book in Basher's science series, which includes Physics: Why Matter Matters!, Biology: Life As We Know It, Astronomy: Out of this World!, Rocks and Minerals: A Gem of a Book, and Planet Earth: What Planet Are You On?, each of which is 128 pages long.

The book is arranged in eleven chapters plus an introduction, and includes a poster in the back of the book. Each chapter is on a different group of the periodic table (hydrogen, the alkali metals, the alkaline earth metals, the transition metals, the boron elements, the carbon elements, the nitrogen elements, the oxygen elements, the halogen elements, the noble gases, the lanthanides and actinides, and the transactinides). For every type of then known atom, Basher has created a "manga-esque"[1] cartoon, and for many types of atoms, Dingle, a high-school chemistry teacher who also developed an award-winning chemistry website[2] has written a couple paragraphs of facts to go with the cartoon. Dingle, who says that "[s]cience is a serious business", wanted in writing the book "to get people engaged is to make it accessible while still presenting hard facts and knowledge,"[3] while Basher was concerned that the book's design be "sharp and focused" in order to "connect with today's visually advanced young audience."[4]

Critical response[edit]

Publishers Weekly said that the book was a "lively introduction to the chart that has been the bane of many a chemistry student",[5] and in a review in New Scientist, Vivienne Greig called The Periodic Table "an engrossing read and an ideal way to painlessly impart a great deal of science history to seen-it-all-before teenagers."[1] A review on the Royal Society of Chemistry website had some minor reservations about the book, but said it was "endearing" and succeeded in making learning chemistry easier and more fun.[6]

The Periodic Table: Elements with Style has also been reviewed in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books[7] and the Journal of Chemical Education.[8]


  1. ^ a b Greig, Vivienne. "The Periodic Table: Elements with style". New Scientist (14 April 2007)
  2. ^ Author bio on the Macmillan website. Dingle's website – – "has been recommended by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, the BBC, the National Science Teachers Association, and Cornell Theory Center - among others."
  3. ^ interview with Dingle on the Houghton Mifflin website.
  4. ^ Basher, Simon "CBC Column: Characters of the Periodic Table" in Knowledge Quest, journal of the American Association of School Librarians, (Nov-Dec 2008). The "CBC" is the Children's Book Council, per this American Library Association press release
  5. ^ "Children's Bookshelf: Humor Helps Kids Brave the Elements". Publishers Weekly. 1 March 2007. Archived from the original on 27 March 2010.
  6. ^ Pitt, Wendy (1 November 2007). "Cartoon chemistry". Education in Chemistry. Vol. 44 no. 6. Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 189.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Saecker Mary E. "Periodic Table Presentations and Inspirations". Journal of Chemical Education. 86: 1151. Bibcode:2009JChEd..86.1151S. doi:10.1021/ed086p1151.

External links[edit]