The Language of the Universe: A Visual Exploration of Mathematics by Colin Stuart, illustrated by Ximo Abadía


The Language of the Universe: A Visual Exploration of Mathematics by Colin Stuart, illustrated by Ximo Abadía. Big Picture Press, 2020. 9781536215052

Format: Hardcover (large format)

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

What did you like about the book? From the team that collaborated on The Speed of Starlight comes another graphically gorgeous science overview book for children. Basic concepts in mathematics and how they intersect with explanations of the natural world, physics, chemistry and engineering, space, and technology are covered in full page spreads. The information is presented in little chunks with giant illustrations that express the concept. There’s some fascinating stuff here to motivate readers to explore more deeply. The section on the natural world has especially beautiful images. The Fibonacci sequence is explained by images of giant sunflowers to show how nature packs as many seeds as possible in the available space. Discussion of fractals shows gorgeous silhouettes of trees and ferns with stunning patterns. The graphic style art also does a great job of portraying concepts in physics and other sciences. The deep, warm color palette is quirky and appealing. Although there is no index, a table of contents points readers to the topics covered.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  For ages 8-12, and anyone interested in how mathematics explains the world.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries seeking additional general science books.

Where would you shelve it ? 510

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: October 26, 2020

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