In my efforts to make the most original sciart gift guide I could muster earlier this month I overlooked some fantastic books that I want to plug today in case you're doing any last minute shopping at bookstores. And if you buy through Amazon's charity program, SMILE, you can designate the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators as your charity of choice and support their sciart efforts year-round. Double win.
Without further ado:
What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
The author of the wildly popular comic strip xkcd poses hilarious questions like, "from what height would you need to drop a steak for it to be cooked when it hit the ground," and then answers them with a straight face and real science. Epic.
Life's Blueprint: The Science and Art of Embryo Creation by Benny Shilo
This is an interesting combination of sophisticated science being explained in lucid prose combined with purposeful and pleasing imagery. If you're interested in deepening your understanding of embryology and how we have used it to understand the diversity of life, this is a great book.
The Unfeathered Bird by Katrina van Grouw
This spectacularly illustrated book is a must-have for anatomy lovers, birders, and fans of really great science art. I reviewed this book last year, as did Darren Naish at Tetrapod Zoology.
What's in Your Genes?: From the Color of Your Eyes to the Length of Your Life, a Revealing Look at Your Genetic Traits by Katie McKissick
Yes, you read that right - Symbiartic's very own Katie McKissick has a book out and it's good fun! If you're curious what would happen if a graphic novel met a science comic strip and they had a baby, well...
Art Forms in Nature by Ernst Haeckel
It's hard to think of a more fool-proof gift than this beautiful collection of plates from Ernst Haeckel's 1904 Kunstformen der Natur. Prestel Press has reprinted it in full color (in 2013) and it will not disappoint.
Bird, Butterfly, Eel by James Prosek
I profiled one of James Prosek's projects here before and I have followed his work for years, but I was not aware he had a kids' book until I stumbled across it at a family-owned bookstore with great taste (as evidenced by their display of Prosek's book, among others). This lovely picture book will appeal to nature lovers and budding scientists alike.