GeekDad: Enter a ‘Portal to the Universe:’ A Book Review

I am a portal

As 2021 draws to a close, I find myself looking at the books in my review pile that I very much wanted to review but was prevented from doing so because of the crazy year we’ve had.  I have time for one more review before the year finishes and I want to bring to your attention the wonderful I Am a Book, I Am a Portal to the Universe. Written by Stefanie Posavec and Miriam Quick, this book is 112 pages of genius. 

What is I Am a Book, I Am a Portal to the Universe?

This book is a small format hardback, (it’s square, roughly 8’x8′) has 112 pages, and weighs (as it says on page 1) 450 grams.

Those of us who love books, already know that they’re portals to all manner of places, but this book is aimed at younger readers. It will appeal to children from 4 or 5 upwards, though they will certainly need an adult to help them decode it. Children who can read well will be mesmerized by it. This is a book that will challenge preconceptions; not only about what a can book can do, but also about everything around us. 

Portal to the Universe uses clever graphic design to help contextualize varying elements of the scientific and natural world. I have often commented in my reviews about how much I enjoy an infographic. This book removes many of the hard facts usually found in an infographic and leaves us with a visual feast of the medium’s beautiful design aspects. 

The book covers topics such as the natural world – rates of growth and DNA, particle physics – neutrinos and gravity, material science – what if the book were made of gold? and global warming. 

At the end of the book is a comprehensive (and in small print) list of the evidence for the scientific claims made.

Why Read I Am a Book, I Am a Portal to the Universe?

“I am a book.

I have 112 pages, bound with thread.

Each square page is twenty centimetres high, twenty centimetres wide and 0.18 millimeters thick.

Words and images are printed on my pages in four inks: cyah, magenta, yellow and black.

My text has been set in the typeface FF Quixo using two of its styles FF Quixo Light and FF Quixo Italic. 

I weigh about 450 grams. 

Just an ordinary book. 

Or so you think.”

I am Portal is a book that will stay relevant as your child grows.  I said at the top of the review that children aged 4 or 5 will be taken by the book. This is undoubtedly true; they will find much to love about it. Mostly its colors and blocky graphics. With the help of an adult, they will begin to pick up some of the information stored inside its covers, and, as they grow older, they will gradually understand more and more of it, seeing how its information builds and locks together. 

A love of the book will take root. As they grow older, they will remember this amazing portal and return to it time and time again; each time gleaning more and more from it. I am a Portal will gradually inform them about the amazing world around us. 

I was predisposed to liking I Am a Portal. It’s everything I love in a book. Innovative, visually appealing, and slightly oddball. I can’t resist a book that is written as though it is talking to you. So, yes I am biased, but honestly, buy this book for your kids, buy this book for your friends’ kids. Heck, buy it for your friends who don’t have kids, in case they do one day. In fact, buy this book for anybody you know who likes to think about the world they live in. They’ll love it. 

I can’t really think of a better way of finishing a year and starting a new one. This is a brilliant book, that fully invokes the power of books! 

If you’d like to pick up a copy of I Am a Portal you can do so here, in the US and here, in the UK. 

If you enjoyed this review, check out my other book reviews, here. 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to write this review. 

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