The Element in the Room

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

It's always fun for me to read more about the elements ever since I took organic chemistry. The book delivered information in different ways and I found it fun. Some of them were delivered in a comic strip and the coloring of the art was pleasant to the eyes. Definitely would recommend to children because it's fun reading through them because of the art and how things were organized detective style.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with the digital copy for an honest review.
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I enjoyed the quirky illustration style in this book, and the fun retro color scheme. The information is plentiful, explained well, and interesting, and I appreciated that it didn't talk down to the reader, making it something all ages can enjoy without feeling dumb (meaning, I understood what was being said without feeling like my hand was being held lol!). The pages did seem a little cluttered at times, filled as they were with blurbs of text and cartoons trying to elbow each other out of the way, but I don't think kids will have a problem with that. A fun way to learn about the elements, even if you're an adult!

#TheElementInTheRoom #NetGalley
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Chemistry was one of my favourite subjects at school, so I was really looking forward to reading this book. 
The premise is really good-look for most common chemical elements in your everyday life and all around you and learn fascinating fun facts about them. I must say the information is great: there's history, danger warnings and codenames for some elements, experiments to try out (strictly under adult supervision), comic strips. I also tend to like colourful and quirky artwork. However, in my opinion, the design of this book is not its strongest feature- you have to look past its cluttered, text heavy appearance to enjoy the content, which is well-researched and well-written.
Thank you to NetGalley and Laurence King Publishing for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
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This is such a strange little book that I've had it in my e-reader for several months not knowing really what to do with it. I requested it from NetGalley since we're a homeschool family with three kids still learning at home, and we all love science. That said, it's really hard to tell what age it's geared towards. The illustrations are colorful and odd, making me think it was for a younger child, but there's a ton of text and that makes it seem more geared towards older kids. It's crammed with information, but crammed is really an accurate word here as it comes off as almost anxiety-causing in its cluttered appearance.

In the end, it's an interesting little book, especially while learning about the PTOE. It would be fun for kids to skim through to learn new facts as they learn about the elements. I would recommend it as a library read, as I don't think this is one that kids will want to read again and again.

My rating system:

1 = hated it
2 = it was okay
3 = liked it
4 = really liked it
5 = love it, plan to purchase, and/or would buy it again if it was lost

I read a temporary digital ARC of the book for the purpose of review.
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For the first time ever, I have a child in my preschool classroom that is obsessed with the periodic table of elements and he LOVED this book. It was a completely new approach to teaching the elements to young children. It was fun and engaging and broken into small parts. The comics sprinkled throughout were fantastic! This book was wonderful and I immediately ordered it!
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When I first saw this book up for review, I thought it might be fun to read with my younger kids. However, after looking through a free review copy I was confused which age group it is actually intended for. The illustrations seem to suggest a younger age group. The wordy descriptions on each page looks more appropriate for upper high school but the humor seems right for junior high students. I decided to experiment and find which age group in my family found it most interesting.
 
Unfortunately, I personally lost interest in this book for several reasons. Most pages are crammed with information but without clear clues to the main idea. My favorite pages were the ones discussing the properties of the individual elements. The point of the information on these pages is clear and somewhat interesting.

I soon discovered most of the people in my family agreed that the book is disorganized, unclear, and the brightly colored illustrations are annoying. 

The one who was most interested was my seventh-grade son. He quickly skimmed through the book and read all the comic strips. My fifth-grade daughter also enjoyed the comics. She liked the funny fact breathing helium from a balloon makes your voice squeaky. Although it at least warns kids to only do this with an adult around, this experiment concerns me as it isn’t really safe. My daughter was also interested in finding more experiments which are not easy to find in this book in my opinion.

I recommend using the ‘Look inside’ feature on Amazon or checking it out from a library first if you are considering getting this book. It could be a good intro to chemistry history and the elements for a junior high student. 

Other books from series I enjoy that may teach chemistry in a simplified yet engaging manner are Life of Fred: Chemistry and E-Z Chemistry (Barron's Easy Way).

Last thought, If you have a favorite aunt or uncle who happen to be a chemist, you could buy this for them as a quirky Christmas gift!
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This is an excellent book, that already sells well in our shop. 

Informative and densely packed with information without being too dry, this is bright colourful and surprisingly complex.

The design is spot on and it’s made me remember some of my gcse science.
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The Element in the Room is a children's non fiction book written by Mike Barfield and illustrated by Lauren Humphrey. Did you know that without the ‘lead’ in your pencil, there would be no life on Earth? Just about everything in the universe is made from only 92 elements – and from aluminium to zinc, many of them are hiding in your very own home! This guide is full of interesting facts about the atomic ingredients that make up everything around us. Join scientific sleuth Sherlock Ohms as he investigates the elements, and help his enquiries with explosive experiments. 

The Element in the Room is bright, with charming illustrations and colors to help hold reader's attention. I did find it a little more text heavy and harder to read than I was expecting based on the description and illustration style, but that might be more on me than anything else. The beginning of the book goes into great detail about elements, atoms, the periodic table and more o help readers understand the significance of the information about each of the elements.  I did like the way the book was organized, and how each element was detailed, and I especially liked that here was a glossary and index included in the endpages. I think this book would do well for middle grade readers and older, perhaps even in middle and high school science classrooms.
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Quanti misteri in una sola stanza!

Quanti indizi da svelare!

Per fortuna l'astuto Sherlock Ohms è pronto a guidarci alla scoperta di quello che il mondo nasconde, sotto forma di elementi chimici, con l'aiuto di brillanti (letteralmente, a volte XD) esperimenti e geniali osservazioni.

Attraverso schemi, fumetti, tavole, pannelli illustrativi, questo intelligentissimo libricino svela ai ragazzi il lato più "elementare" della materia, introducendo con simpatia le basi della chimica e della fisica.

Meraviglioso!
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I really wanted to enjoy The Element in the Room by Mike Barfield and illustrated by Lauren Humphrey, especially as I believe it's exceedingly important to teach children about science early on. But as someone who hated science as a child, I can tell you without question that this is not the book you want to get if you're looking to have your children build an interest in science and elements. Rather, this is the book you get a kid who is already very interested in science as the only interest it is likely to foster is the one that already exists.

I think my biggest problem with The Element in the Room comes from how busy everything was. From the artwork--which I, admittedly, did not really care for--to the detailed level of explanations the author gave for the information it was teaching, this book really threw too much at you at once. For me, keeping interest was difficult as a result. I can't imagine how a child, who likely would feel much more inclined to want to do something else, would feel.

Each page just had way too much information on it and nothing was spaced out or thought about enough to make the pages look less overwhelming. The artwork clashed with the text and the often dark pages were rather frustrating to read. As for the information provided, I did appreciate that. The concept of a book teaching about how all the elements relate to objects within the every day is something I really loved. I just feel like the way this book was put together kind of took away from the book's overall purpose.

I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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There is nothing I like better than a book with excellent illustrations that is full of facts!  Making it a mystery to solve is the icing on the cake!  

I did think the writing was a bit small to read, but I was able to magnify the digital copy.  I only mention it because kids will skip things that are too small to read. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Laurence King Publishers for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Not really well done in my opinion. It felt unbalanced between the editing/art of the book and the contents, both doesn't seem to be for the same readers age and that makes a book that I wouldn't see who might enjoy it or learn from it. Can't see myself recommend this one... Sorry...
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Ω Join Sherlock Ohms, the super scientific detective as he and his two rodent pals, Ratley and Hattie, go about ‘Investigating the Atomic Ingredients that Make Up Your Home!’ 

The format is definitely unique, with the characteristics of a graphic novel, a textbook, a comic book, a reference book, an experiment manual, a journal, a sketch pad, and a collection of fun facts covered in checkbox lists and post-it notes. The way that the enormous amount of information is arranged is structured and organized, yet somehow manages to be haphazard. It makes the most excellent use of the space on each page that I’ve seen in quite a while. 

Mike Barfield’s book is full of scientific information, history, experiments, and neat factoids. Each of the 118 (so far!) elements earns at least a mention, year of discovery, and the origin of its name. A glossary at the end is helpful and the index is invaluable. 

Many of the more common or well known elements are marked with symbols: 
⚲ Look for this (C —2B or not 2B: your pencil contains graphite, a carbon allotrope, not lead)
⅄ Experiment (Na —the case of the magic cube: ice, water, salt, string)
⨀ Appearance (Zn —soft bluish-grey metal)
⚠︎ Element of danger (Ni —can cause rashes; As —deadly)
☆ Superpower (Ti —bionic body parts)

The color palette is unique as well: pink, green, yellow, brown, and black; it’s not my favorite but the combination does indeed stand out. Lauren Humphrey’s drawings, graphics, comics, and other illustrations pull the book together, making it much more visually appealing than a textbook. Don’t let your little scientists choose this as a bedtime story: you’ll be up for nights (and days)! This would have definitely been one of my favorites if I’d had it while growing up. 


Thanks to Lawrence King Publishing Ltd and NetGalley for the provided e-ARC and the opportunity to read this book. My review is honest, unbiased, and voluntary. #NetGalley #TheElementInTheRoom
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That was such a fun and educational read. Comics, bright illustrations, jam packed with scientific information, The Element in the Room is a great book for kids (and adults) of all ages. I found it flowed really nice and was so easy and simple to understand. The checklists helped to easily identify what each element was found in, and the numerous bubble tidbits about each element made the book informative without becoming convoluted. 

I think I could have easily gotten higher grades in High School Chemistry if we’d had this book in earlier grades to learn the basics.
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***Thanks to the publisher and #NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***

I appreciate the attempt to make science more fun, but I still found this book a little too cluttered. Maybe children would find this fun and engaging, but I thought there was too much on each page.
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