Wonderful Life with the Elements

Wonderful Life with the Elements

The Periodic Table Personified
by Bunpei Yorifuji
September 2012, 208 pp.
Hardcover with pull-out poster

"Even the most serious chemist will enjoy seeing such illustrations as nitrogen personified floating above a stick of TNT, sporting a beard and mohawk. Playful and endearing in a way that conveys a real appreciation for the elements."
Chemical & Engineering News, American Chemical Society (Read More)

From the brilliant mind of Japanese artist Bunpei Yorifuji comes Wonderful Life with the Elements, an illustrated guide to the periodic table that gives chemistry a friendly face.

In this super periodic table, every element is a unique character whose properties are represented visually: heavy elements are fat, man-made elements are robots, and noble gases sport impressive afros. Every detail is significant, from the length of an element's beard to the clothes on its back. You'll also learn about each element's discovery, its common uses, and other vital stats like whether it floats—or explodes—in water.

Why bother trudging through a traditional periodic table? In this periodic paradise, the elements are people too. And once you've met them, you'll never forget them.

Author Bio 

Japanese artist Bunpei Yorifuji is well-known for his series of humorous ads for the Tokyo metro, "Do It At Home," which show riders doing inappropriate activities on the subway. He is the author of several books in Japanese, including Milk Century and The Catalogue of Death.

Table of contents 


Chapter 1: Elements in the Living Room
Chapter 2: The Super Periodic Table of the Elements
Chapter 3: Element Cartoon Characters
Chapter 4: How to Eat the Elements
Chapter 5: The Elements Crisis



"The astonishing attention to scientific details demonstrate a sophisticated grasp of the concepts and some serious artistic chops, but the real joy lies in Yorifuji's infectious, playful enthusiasm--bound to draw in even the most entrenched science-phobes."
Katherine Montgomery, Shelf Awareness (Read More)

"A great book for chemistry students and anyone who loves to see chemistry and comics in tandem."
Lauren Davis, io9 (Read More)

"The charming micro-vignettes nudge the young reader towards that ever-marvelous space where science and whimsy intersect."
Maria Popova, Brain Pickings (Read More)

"The best word to describe this gem from another culture is idiosyncratic, others include informative and entertaining. A new window into the teaching of the elements. Upper school pupils will love it."
The School Librarian

"Even the most serious chemist will enjoy seeing such illustrations as nitrogen personified floating above a stick of TNT, sporting a beard and mohawk. Playful and endearing in a way that conveys a real appreciation for the elements."
Sam Lemonick, Chemical & Engineering News, American Chemical Society (Read More)

"If chemistry seems cold and unfriendly, Wonderful Life with the Elements: The Periodic Table Personified by Bunpei Yorifuji will help you get to know it better… and make you laugh out loud."
Karen McGhee, COSMOS magazine (Read More)

"A new, fascinating way to learn about the elements."
Emma Shiells, Chemistry World (Read More)

"Takes the Periodic Table and transforms it into a learning experience."
Greg Laden, National Geographic's "ScienceBlogs" (Read More)

"This book would make a great gift for any aspiring young scientist or even an adult who loves to learn."
Ruth Suehle, Wired.com's GeekMom (Read More)

"It's one of the most entertaining and interesting books I've ever read—on any subject!"
James Floyd Kelly, Wired.com's GeekDad (Read More)

"The original presentation of this material and the amusing personal touches are fantastic and turn this book into a fun, easy read."
Adrian Woodhead, Slashdot (Read More)

Deborah Blum of Wired.com Science "smitten" by the book. (Read More)

"This book takes the boring old periodic table and enhances it, giving the elements a life and spirit of their own all while teaching readers about those elements."
Wally Bahny, TechRepublic (Read More)

"The art is both sweet and clear, with brown and yellow cartoons on uncluttered pages that pack a wallop of information."
School Library Journal (Read More)

"Yorifuji's personification worked for me. I never took chemistry in high school and so have an incomplete understanding it. Wonderful Life with the Elements gave the Periodic Table contours I was able to grasp."
Roger Kay, Forbes.com's Endpoint Analysis Blog (Read More)

"It's an entertaining and charming read that turns studying the periodic table into an experience more like reading cartoons than hitting the science books."
Christina Tynan-Wood, Family Circle Magazine (Read More)

"Wonderful Life with the Elements is presented in a way that its contents have a better chance of being remembered than typical textbook information. Every chemistry classroom or school library should have at least one printed or ebook copy."
Brian Nadel, Scholastic.com's Tech Tools Blog (Read More)

"If you think that the Periodic Table of Elements is merely a boring compilation of chemical elements, you haven't read this book."
Alex Santoso, Neatorama (Read More)

"It's easy to read, and full of fascinating facts about the elements."
Warren Kelly, Blogcritics (Read More)

"Yorifuji not only makes the periodic table visually appealing and easier to remember, he makes it a joy to learn about with an important message for chemists and non-chemists alike."
Alexandra Aloia, American Chemical Society's "Reactions" Blog (Read More)

"Whether you need a little extra help in science class or you're just geek-chic enough to love the Periodic Table, Wonderful Life with the Elements should be added to your library immediately."
Sheena McNeil, Sequential Tart (Read More)

"I really enjoyed reading Wonderful Life with the Elements. It was fun, and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know before."
Lori Henderson, Manga Xanadu (Read More)

"I highly recommend the imaginative and readily understood book to any students, educators, business people working with any of the elements, and to any interested individuals seeking an enjoyable way to learn and comprehend the chemical elements and the Periodic Table."
Wayne Hurlbert, Blog Business World (Read More)

"Learning about the elements has never been so accessible and fun. What a treat."
Glenn Dallas, San Francisco Book Review (Read More)

"I highly recommend Wonderful Life with the Elements as a companion to the science classroom."
Chris Wilson, Education Week Blog (Read More)

"After reading this book, I do not look at an ordinary periodic table the same way anymore."
Cheryl B. Frech, Journal of Chemical Education (Read More)

Extra Stuff 

"Recommended" by Choice.

Featured on:
American Chemical Society's C&EN blog (Read More)

Wired.com's Underwire blog (Read More)

Otaku USA Magazine's October 2012 issue! (Read More)

Laughing Squid (Read More)

Girls' Life Magazine's website (Read More)

ScienceNews (Read More)

The Presurfer (Read More)

The Awesomer (Read More)