This is a stunning visual book with information for multiple levels of interest and ages. The book would fit well on a coffee table or in the scientific section of a library. The “Vault” contains hands-on manipulative and striking photos that are sure to draw in a wide range of readers. Each element has a dedicated section that includes fun facts, for example that there is more aluminum in the earth’s crust than any other metal, along with vital physical and chemical characteristics. The combination of storytelling with factual information makes the scientific details accessible to a diverse audience in an entertaining format. The book’s organization is based on the core groups found in the periodic table. The contents include sections on each of the elemental groups, including the main groups (or families), alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, halogens, and noble gases. The text starts off with a nice introduction highlighting common elements, tied to a nice anecdote about stubbing your toe, that leads into an excellent discussion of the power and design of the periodic table. This directs the reader to an enhanced understanding of the organizational design of the book, allowing for a deeper grasp of the individual groups (columns) represented in the periodic table. The reader can then proceed through the book from front to back, gaining insight into each group and the elements that are contained within. Novice readers will be drawn to the storylines and manipulative presented for each element while also being exposed to detailed scientific facts.

I highly recommend this book as a sound reference suitable for a broad audience that offers an enjoyable journey through the periodic table of elements.