Last week I got an email from James Dunbar, an author and illustrator, asking me to promote the Kickstarter campaign for his new book, The Universe Verse. It’s a series of three rhyming “graphic guides” (i.e., comic) covering the origin of the Universe, the origin of life on Earth, and the evolution of humans. Dunbar describes the books as “scientifically accurate” and “targeted at children and fun-loving adults”. I got a PDF preview of the book; I didn’t read through the entire thing, but the parts I saw looked engaging and educational. The rhymes and rhythms did feel a bit forced at times, but that’s hardly surprising — I’m sure it’s not easy to keep that up for three whole books!
Dunbar has already met his initial goal ($10,000), but if the campaign reaches $25,000 he’ll release a coloring-book version of all three books as a free PDF. I think these books could be a great resource for kids and young adults. Rhymes, pictures, and a storyline can help make the material more palatable and memorable, and I can see that they would be a wonderful way to get kids interested in and educated about science. I contributed to the Kickstarter because I’d like to see them become available even to disenfranchised communities. If you feel the same way, consider chipping in if you can afford it.