I really wanted to enjoy The Element in the Room by Mike Barfield and illustrated by Lauren Humphrey, especially as I believe it’s exceedingly important to teach children about science early on. But as someone who hated science as a child, I can tell you without question that this is not the book you want to get if you’re looking to have your children build an interest in science and elements. Rather, this is the book you get a kid who is already very interested in science as the only interest it is likely to foster is the one that already exists.
I think my biggest problem with The Element in the Room comes from how busy everything was. From the artwork–which I, admittedly, did not really care for–to the detailed level of explanations the author gave for the information it was teaching, this book really threw too much at you at once. For me, keeping interest was difficult as a result. I can’t imagine how a child, who likely would feel much more inclined to want to do something else, would feel.
Each page just had way too much information on it and nothing was spaced out or thought about enough to make the pages look less overwhelming. The artwork clashed with the text and the often dark pages were rather frustrating to read. As for the information provided, I did appreciate that. The concept of a book teaching about how all the elements relate to objects within the every day is something I really loved. I just feel like the way this book was put together kind of took away from the book’s overall purpose.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.