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Illustrated Books Are For Kids, Right? Nah.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Respectable books used to be illustrated. Then someone decided that picture books were for kids and boo hoo hoo, suddenly illustrations vanished from “serious” books. Well, I don’t know about you, but I like a book that’s secure enough in its content that it can throw a couple of illustrations inside and still call itself “serious.” After all, why not use all the tools at your disposal to convey your points clearly and concisely?

Agree? Here’s your chance to show it. Neil Shubin’s second book, The Universe Within, made it onto SciAm’s Best Summer Books on Science and it deserves your votes. I don’t know how many of the books on the list are illustrated, but I can tell you that Shubin’s is (because I illustrated it!) – and it’s a great read. If you liked Shubin’s first book, Your Inner Fish, his second book takes you further along the journey of discovery – past our shared history with worms and flies to the origin of the universe itself. We are part of that evolution and we just need an astute tour guide like Shubin to show us the signs. So if you agree that science books can be illustrated and serious, pipe up and vote for The Universe Within. Then get to reading! What a stellar list.

'We Are Stardust' from The Universe Within

'We Are Stardust' from The Universe Within. © Kalliopi Monoyios

Kalliopi Monoyios About the Author: Kalliopi Monoyios is an independent science illustrator. She has illustrated several popular science books including Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish and The Universe Within, and Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. Find her at Follow on Twitter @symbiartic.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. beatrice 1:40 pm 07/15/2013

    Done! Woohoo illustrations in science books!

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  2. 2. Page J 8:28 am 07/17/2013

    The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words applies to science as well.

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