Thursday, December 29, 2011

Project of the week: The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA (Book)

And now it's time to unleash the geek in me: This week's featured project is a cheery and entertaining comic that makes it easier for high school students to understand DNA.

Jargons, most of the time, discourage students to read topics further to understand the topic. It's like speaking Korean to Latin Americans. By presenting the complexity of DNA through a comic, it makes easier for students to grasp the concept of genes; it speaks in the language with which the students are familiar. That, in itself, makes the comic a success. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Project of the week: "A Book of Sleep" (Illustrations)

In the spotlight this week is the American book debut of illustrator Il Sung Na (via Brainpickings).

A Book of Sleep features a rhythmic storytelling of the "watchful owl" who stays awake while everyone else gets a shut-eye, through lovely and textured illustrations.

Il Sung Na's "A Book of Sleep" (Photo from
Il Sung Na's "A Book of Sleep" (Photo from

Il Sung Na's "A Book of Sleep" (Photo from

I find how the illustrations appear flowing and fluid particularly pleasant. Notice that the illustrator brilliantly used shapes and added a blush of colors to help create a subtle contrast between the doves and the owl.

While drawing for children seem easy to some, it is admittedly harder than most illustrations, because ideally the message must be conveyed in the simplest and most interesting way possible to keep the readers glued to the page. Here, less is truly more but one has to strike a balance between keeping the illustrations simple yet making it interesting and attractive visually to encourage the reader to flip to the next page. This is why I find the Il's illustrations excellent.