I wish the new series of entertaining and educational books, Ponderables: 100 Breakthroughs That Changed History, had been around back then! But lucky for parents today, they are here now!
There are three book currently available in this series -
- The Elements: An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table
- Mathematics: An Illustrated History of Numbers
- The Universe: An Illustrated History of Astronomy
Each of these books are coffee-table sized, full of out-of-this-world photographs, and equally as full of fascinating information on subjects that might be considered a little weighty. The editors of these books have put together mesmerizing stories, intriguing facts, and lavish illustrations to make these books not only useful but keepsakes for future generations as well!
Here is a breakdown of what each book is about:
THE ELEMENTS: An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table
In 1869 Dmitri Mendeleev presented the world with the Periodic Table. It contained 63 elements, many more than the four—earth, water, fire, and air—established in the ancient world, but less than half the total in our modern table. Mendeleev believed there were many elements still to come.
MATHEMATICS: An Illustrated History of Numbers
Legend has it that the first magic square, where all lines and diagonals add up to the same figure, was revealed more than 2,000 years ago when a river turtle appeared to have ancient Chinese numerals inscribed on sections of its shell. Patterns are everywhere in nature, and counting, measuring, and calculating changes are as old as civilization itself, as are many of the theorems and laws of math. The Pythagorean Theorem was used to plot out fields for planting crops before the ancient Greek Pythagoras was even born, but the story begins long before that, with tally marks on rock and bone surviving from the Stone Age.
THE UNIVERSE: An Illustrated History of Astronomy
Astronomers today believe that the Universe may have begun 13.7 billion years ago, when its entire energy, mass, space, and even time, expanded out from a single point. New, empty space was lit by innumerable baby stars and infant galaxies, their light finally reaching Earth many billions of years later. Every scientific discovery about space and the stars—their beginnings as well as our own—derives from this ancient light.
I think these books would make great additions to any home library for kids of all ages! After all, you're never too old to stop learning!
A Note: Three more books in this series will be available soon - Physics, Philosophy and Computing!
My thanks to Newman Communications for supplying the review copies of these books. I was not compensated for my opinion.