From the creators of Why Is Art Full of Naked People? (2016), a set of equally momentous questions in astronomy, physics, biology, and technology—with pithy answers.
Presented in no discernible order, the several dozen questions range from “What is science?” (“Oh nothing much…science is everything, science is everywhere and science is everything that has ever happened in the whole history of time!”) and “What’s inside a black hole?” to “Can things live on my face?” (Yes.) Doyle goes for an equally casual tone in his short answers, and though he tends to wander off on side tracks, along with picking up some dandy vocabulary (“dendrochronology” “oneirology” “spaghettified”), readers with inquiring minds will come away painlessly filled in on a broad variety of topics. This is not to say that Doyle’s facts are always trustworthy—nitrogen is not a mineral, stars do too move, astronauts don’t float in space because the gravity there is lower than on Earth, 44,000 gallons of rocket fuel isn’t enough to “fill up 42,000 cars”—but they are mostly sound enough. The illustrations are a likewise playful combination of decorative motifs and line drawings of white-faced cartoon human figures by Goble and science art, stills from classic films, stock photos (often comical ones), historical images, museum paintings, and old book illustrations.
A few slips but overall a brisk and witty grab bag of science words and wonders. (index, glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-12)