The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate the Wondrous Mysteries of Science

Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman, and Matt Lamothe. Chronicle, $24.95 (168p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0822-3
Scientists and artists take on, answer, and illustrate some of the most intriguing and baffling questions in the sciences, a majority of which likely do not ever occur to most people, such as "What triggers reversals of earth's polarity?" Readers may need a refresher on basic high school biology or chemistry, but that's a good thing and, really, a minor distraction from what this book actually is: a work of art. The 75 illustrations that accompany each question are rich and stylistically diverse enough that the book can be read either as a well-written mini-textbook or a coffee table-worthy compendium. The authors set out to challenge our overly Wikipedi-ized minds less by explaining answers as by opening them to theorizing and wondering; it's clear that the point is to pique curiosity and delight with beautiful visuals. Pop-science buffs will find the subject matter intriguing, and those who admire graphic novels or comic art will find a plethora of eye candy. To the book's further credit, each artist's website is listed opposite his or her artwork, allowing for further engagement each one's work. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 09/01/2012
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