NONFICTION

The Art of Curiosity: 50 Visionary Artists, Scientists, Poets, Makers & Dreamers Who Are Changing the Way We See Our World

Weldon Owen International. Oct. 2019. 200p. Tr $35. ISBN 9781681889993.
COPY ISBN
Gr 3 Up–An ambitious promise (“the art of curiosity”) is made by this hard-to-categorize essay collection from creators connected to the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s popular science museum. This volume, which opens with letters from personnel, a self-congratulatory museum time line, and a map of how the contributors exemplify the museum’s “ten tenets,” would be easy to dismiss as a bit of flashy institutional self-promotion. However, the diverse and impressive lineup, from comedian and musician Reggie Watts to author Mary Roach, as well as the book’s bold design and brilliant illustrations, give this work a sense of broader relevance. Contributor essays are brief, accessible, and peppered with inspirational nuggets. Kurashima’s illustrations provide brilliant optical phenomena when viewed through the included plastic viewer. Although there are certainly more substantive writings on curiosity out there, this book could be used as an appealing source of inspiration for a STEAM or makerspace collection.
VERDICT A flashy, brilliantly designed piece of museum promotion.

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