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The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry [Paperback]

Larry Gonick , Craig Criddle
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 8.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 July 2005 0060936770 978-0060936778

If you have ever suspected that "heavy water" is the title of a bootleg Pink Floyd album, believed that surface tension is an anxiety disorder, or imagined that a noble gas is the result of a heavy meal at Buckingham Palace, then you need The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry to set you on the road to chemical literacy.

You don't need to be a scientist to grasp these and many other complex ideas, because The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry explains them all: the history and basics of chemistry, atomic theory, combustion, solubility, reaction stoichiometry, the mole, entropy, and much more—all explained in simple, clear, and yes, funny illustrations. Chemistry will never be the same!

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The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry + The Cartoon Guide to Physics + Cartoon Guide to Statistics
Price For All Three: 23.67

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Reference (7 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060936770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060936778
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 18.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Larry Gonick has been creating comics that explain history, science, and other big subjects for more than forty years. He wrote his first guide, Blood from a Stone: A Cartoon Guide to Tax Reform, in 1977. He has been a calculus instructor at Harvard (where he earned his BA and MA in mathematics) and a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, and he is staff cartoonist for Muse magazine.

Craig Criddle is a professor of environmental engineering and science at Stanford University and has written numerous scientific papers.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A-level (or similar) guide to Chemistry 22 Sep 2005
This is a great book. I teach IB Chemistry in an international school in Thailand and my students have had their fill of books which all follow a bog-standard, well-researched, but ultimately rather bland format.
This book is great in that it gives a lighter format which presents sound facts in a light-hearted way so that students are likely to read a section and not realise that they have learned too much.
It is not, however, a replacement to a text-book - more an addition to a student's library or reading resources. I'm recommmending our school library get a copy or two of this so students can, with their finals around the corner, use it to consolidate information.
It's a good buy and there are other in the series covering statistics, physics and genetics.
A great buy and a bargain price!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 14 April 2013
By mimi
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
This was bought as a fun present for my daughter who has a chemistry degree and she loved it it but also good for younger children to introduce them to chemistry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fun way to learn 9 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
A fantastic way to learn about the world of chemistry. Who would have guessed it could be so much fun :-)
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worthless 13 May 2006
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I needed refresher course on chemistry and thought this would be good.

Unfortunately, if you already know chemistry, this book will teach you nothing. Also, unfortunately, if you don't know chemistry then this book will teach you nothing. The existence of this book seem superfluous.

Yes, there are some mildly amusing cartoons and there are some very terse textbook summaries on chemistry, all printed on very low-grade paper.

I am an engineer by training and I didn't understand a word even of the section on logarithms. That's how bad this book is.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
65 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant introduction to Chemistry 6 Jun 2005
By Book Reader - Published on Amazon.com
For someone that is just learning about chemistry this book is excellant. It provides a whimiscal and fun overview of chemistry that makes learning chemistry interesting.

It also includes highlights of chemistry that illustrate how chemical principles were discovered.

And it also illustrates in an interesting manner the applications and importance of chemistry.

If you are about to take your first chemistry class or have never had a chemistry class, this book will be a good introduction to chemistry. Or if it has been awhile since you have had chemistry this book may be an interesting review.

Note: While interesting reading, this book would be too light to be used as a text book for a class. It makes an interesting supplement.
80 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Can't Go Wrong with Larry Gonick 30 July 2005
By M. Shaffer - Published on Amazon.com
I have been a fan of Larry Gonick`s work for years ever since I first stumbled onto his Cartoon Guide to Statistics. He covers a subject the way it should be covered-historically. Innovations in science and math have moved along together in a historical time line. It was this historical approach that made Carl Sagan's Cosmos series one of the greatest innovations in the effort to popularize science.

I have long said that we teach science backward. We still teach on a 19th Century model. We start with biology, then chemistry, and finally physics.

Even when I was in high school, I wished that I could take physics before chemistry. Before I was elected as a school board director, I was on our district's Gifted Advisory Council. I made the suggestion that we teach physics before chemistry and, then, biology last. I was immediately shot down by one of the other parents on the basis that sophomores do not have the math courses under their belts to tackle physics. So why not teach the math along with the science? Integrate it. (No, that would make it too relevant.)

I felt vindicated when a friend of mine reported that she attended a lecture by a Nobel laureate making the same assertion that I had been making for years-we teach science backwards. After all, the toughest course out there is biochemistry-at least that is what every med student I know has ever said. And biochemistry is the new frontier for blockbuster innovations-nano-technology not being the least of these frontiers.

Gonick underscores my assertion about teaching physics first, because in this book on chemistry, he introduces quantum mechanics, which is normally taught as physics, on page 28.

Don't let he word "cartoon" in Larry Gonick`s books fool you into thinking that these are easy fluff surveys of the subjects involved. He makes each subject accessible while being entertaining, but each book stands on its own as a complete basic survey course of the subject.

So when I needed to add about two dollars to my order to get free shipping, it took me about thirty seconds to find my book. I went right to Larry Gonick.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Cartoon Guide to Chem 13 Oct 2005
By Kristin Clark - Published on Amazon.com
This is an excellent illustration of the major principles of chemistry. Great for general chemistry students searching for an alternative way to learn the basic concepts.

I teach chemistry and highly recommend it for visual people struggling to picture some of the concepts or searching for a brush up review of chemistry.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lot To Cover 29 Jan 2007
By Dave_42 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is the first edition of "The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry" by Larry Gonick and Craig Criddle and was published in 2005. It is another of the series of Cartoon Guides which Larry Gonick has co-authored with scientists in the field of choice. Craig Criddle is a professor of environmental engineering and science at Stanford University.

The book has 12 chapters, and like the other guides it covers a history of the subject, as well as a good overview of the subject, and there is a lot to cover with Chemistry. From the early days of alchemy, through the discover of the atom, through reactions, states of matter, solutions, acids and bases, thermodynamics and electrochemistry and finishing up with a chapter on organic chemistry, Criddle and Gonick try to give a little taste of everything to the reader.

This book serves well as an introduction, overview, history of the subject, or a refresher. This guide works well when combined with the Physics and Genetics guide, as there are certainly areas of crossover between the books. Because of the wide variety of topics contained in this book, if you are using it as an introduction, you may want to break it apart and use it to introduce a few topics, then spend some more in depth time on those topics, before moving on to some more sections of this book.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry 11 Aug 2007
By J. A. Bobo - Published on Amazon.com
I used this book in conjunction with a textbook in my general chemistry course over the summer. This book helped illustrate things left unclear in my textbook and give a better intuitive feel for what I was doing. On its own its probably not spectacular since there are gaps to be filled but as a supplement it is amazing.
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