Once upon a slide…the first microbiology book for 5 year olds!
At last! No more bed time fairy tales about damsels in distress, princesses in pink and knights in white shining armor.
Move over Disney. This is a world we should be opening our kids up to. Steeped in reality. A world 1000x more exciting than those lands too far far far away, and it is all playing out under our very noses, inside our refrigerators, outside our back doors and throughout our own bodies.
Thank you to Nicola Davies (author) and Emily Sutton (illustrator) for this beautiful non-fiction children’s book that introduces young readers to microscopy.
I can’t wait to buy this for my nieces.
Let me know if you need help with the histological sequel ;)
View more of Emily’s beautiful artwork at her website
Find out more about award winning author Nicola at her blog/website
We are SO down with this.
Where was this book when I was a kid?
Visionary vintage children’s book celebrates gender equality, ethnic diversity, and space exploration with a black female astronaut two decades before that became a reality
Oh wow. This book, Blast Off, is just wonderful. The art is flawless and the message is timeless and powerful. Head on over to Brain Pickings to check out more about this inspiring read.
Despite the fact that Blast Off was written in 1973, its message is just as rare and necessary today. We need more of this.
Through the Looking Glass, Into the Brain
Book review! I just read Neurocomic (Amazon), a new graphic novel by Drs. Hana Ros & Matteo Farinella (who is on Tumblr). While not perfect, it presents the history and science of brain research in a way I’ve never before seen. I wish there was more of this art/science crossover in science books, don’t you?
Neurocomic is one man’s Lewis Carroll-esque journey through the human brain (his own?), where, after becoming trapped in a daydream, he encounters micro-avatars of the very neuroscientists who first unlocked the secrets of neuroscience. He also gets some rather psychedelic biology lessons along the way, falling through axons, parachuting out of synaptic vesicles, fighting the Kraken (who I assume has come for revenge on all that giant squid axon research that scientists have done over the years), discovering the power of hallucinogens (the hard way… no, make that the FUN way), and even breaking up some fisticuffs between Messrs. Golgi and Ramon y Cajal.
But like any book that attempts to hit every highlight of neuroscience, as well as the people who have studied it, in less than 150 pages, it was often superficial, and I was left wanting in parts. This book’s a bit like the cerebral cortex in that way: Interesting and full of action, but ultimately concealing a lot of cool stuff going on underneath. While the text was a bit academic in parts, the illustrations are superb, both fantastic and fantastical. I half expected the Cheshire Cat to pop up (instead I got a talking version of Pavlov’s dog).
Neurocomic won’t leave you ready to enter a neuroscience PhD program, but it does present some amazing science in a genre-busting, outlandish, imaginative way. All in all, journey through the looking glass into an imaginary world inside our own minds. And isn’t that what reading a story is all about?
Alice in Quantumland – an imaginative allegory of quantum physics, written and illustrated (!) by a CERN physicist, doubly brilliant for flying in the face of gender stereotypes with a female protagonist who makes sense of some of the most intense science of all time.
Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things about quantum mechanics before breakfast.
Helen Friel - “Here’s Looking at Euclid” (paper sculptures of mathematician Oliver Byrne’s illustrations of Euclid’s Elements, 2012)
Byrne’s illustrated Euclid is one of my favorite vintage science reads (you can leaf through it online for free!) and the fact that the Mondrain-esque artwork has been made into paper sculptures makes me happier than I can verbalize.
This Is Mars … Trust Me
When I say “Mars”, what do you think of? You probably said “red planet” right? Or maybe “candy bar”. But what would it look like without the red?
That’s what we find in the book This Is Mars, from Xavier Barral. He compiled pictures from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE imager devoid of color and context, 3.7-mile-wide snapshots of the alien landscape that MRO has been chronicling for seven years. Shaped by brutal forces of extraterrestrial geology, it’s a feast for the eyes and full of more than a few “What the hell am I looking at?" moments.
It’s hauntingly beautiful without its rusty hue, eh? Check out the full book for more.
Bonus: Of course, you don’t have to go to Mars to see a planet transform into an art project. Earth as Art looks pretty grand, too.
Take a trip back in time with this beautifully-illustrated set of vintage children’s books about space.
Kinda rude to lie to kids about getting to go to the moon, though.
"The whole universe is in a glass of wine…" and now that universe is in a book!
Richard Feynman’s love letter to wine, a microcosm of life and the universe in bottled fermentation, has long been one of my favorite things ever written about anything, ever. If you’re new to Feynman’s ode to oenology, see it in comic form over at Zen Pencils.
Now this work of fine art physics has been transformed into a stunning book of typography and illustration by artist/designer Maggie Chok. She was kind enough to send me a copy of her creative remix, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you guys.
I love the combination of minimalist text, geometric illustration and whimsical freehand. I think Feynman himself would approve.
This book is available to buy in an extremely limited print run (it really is a beauty to hold in your hands), but it can also be viewed online, in full, here. I captured a few excerpts above to whet your whistle.