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This Phenomenal Life: The Amazing Ways We Are Connected with Our Universe Hardcover – March 1, 2017
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In these exuberant, surprising, joyous, gorgeous pages, artist and writer Misha Maynerick Blaise celebrates THIS PHENOMENAL LIFE with facts that will amaze and artwork that will delight. What a great way to reawaken our connections with the universe! (Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of the Octopus, finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction)
“This book lies in the ever-disappearing intersection between beauty and truth. Every single person I know would love it to pieces.” —Ella Frances Sanders, author of the New York Times bestseller Lost in Translation
I have a new favorite book in the universe and it’s called This Phenomenal Life. It explodes with the wonders of creation and the beauty of being alive. (Rainn Wilson, actor, author)
'Blaise’s characters are almost all adults, but older children as well as grown-ups may enjoy this lovely graphic book, which offers a sweet-spirited reminder that all human beings are more alike than different, and that the entire cosmos is interconnected in ways we’re only beginning to comprehend.' **Starred review** (Publishers Weekly)
Blaise (My Wondrous Cloud Odyssey) provides illustrations for a trove of scientific facts to demonstrate how closely humans are intertwined with the natural world. Playing with both meanings of the word 'phenomenal,' Blaise depicts dark skies dotted with stars, swirling currents, riotous flowers, and creatures from microorganisms to elephants—a vibrant visual world shared with ethnically and culturally diverse humans. Gentle whimsy prevails: a bewigged avian playing a harp illustrates an aspect of birdsong that’s similar to human music, while two people shyly sitting far apart are yet connected by their 'microbial clouds.' Addressing such wide-ranging topics as the Big Bang, plant neurotransmitters, insect husbandry, hidden water footprints, and 'mitochondrial Eve,' Blaise encourages a sense of wonder at the phenomenal world. 'Even in an office with no windows,' she writes, 'every breath we take contains trillions of air molecules that cycle through the world and connect us with life on Earth.' Blaise’s characters are almost all adults, but older children as well as grown-ups may enjoy this lovely graphic book, which offers a sweet-spirited reminder that all human beings are more alike than different, and that the entire cosmos is interconnected in ways we’re only beginning to comprehend. **starred review** (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Misha Maynerick Blaise has partnered with brands such as Urban Outfitters, West Elm, CB2, Oopsy Daisy, and the New York Times Style Magazine. She was selected as the winner of a portfolio showcase at the 2015 Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Austin, Texas. In 2007, she was selected to contribute to a nationally acclaimed public art exhibit in Chicago titled “Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet.” She and her husband own a green-building company in Austin, Texas.
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Top Customer Reviews
That’s just what Misha Blaise has done with This Phenomenal Life– the science book you wish you’d had in your high school (or college) biology class. It’s a colorful, whimsical, and sometimes quite funny reminder of just how amazing the seemingly ordinary things around us (including ourselves) actually are.
This isn’t a science book in the traditional sense– there are things inside that you already know and things that you don’t; things familiar and things strange and curious; there's no index and no separate chapters. This book is a journey. And everyone will love getting lost in the artful way that Blaise weaves facts and findings together into a tapestry of playful, fantastical inspiration.
This Phenomenal Life reminds us of the importance of staying curious and cultivating delight and wonder, while never taking the world too seriously– no matter how old we become. Everyone should have this book to keep them young. I have a feeling Albert Einstein would have loved it.