Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing and Believing by Clive Gifford and Professor Anil Seth
|Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing and Believing by Clive Gifford and Professor Anil Seth|
|Category: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: Margaret Young|
|Summary: Science, art and a whole lot of fun in a book that adults may well enjoy as much as the children.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 64||Date: October 2013|
|Publisher: Ivy Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Winner: Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2014
My husband doesn't usually do books, but when this arrived in the post it was a good two hours before anyone could get it out of his hands. The whole family ended up joining in and commenting on each illustration or illusion. On the surface, it just seems like some light-hearted fun, and this book certainly is fun. But in addition to being great fun, this is an incredibly educational book as well.
Eye Benders begins with the science behind the optical illusions. It teaches children the different parts of the brain and what each does, how your nervous system works and how the eyes work. Then the book goes on to explain how optical illusions take advantage of natural functions of the eye and brain. The book has an incredible selection of optical illusions, most of which are pretty easy to see, but I think most people just won't get one or two. Thankfully, what to look for is included for the most difficult ones, so if you know what you are meant to see, most of the time you can find it.
This book should be required reading for art classes. It both demonstrates and explains how perspective works. My children actually ended up measuring the subject of one illustration to make certain the one in the background was not really larger than the one to the front. I think this really helps children understand how to improve their basic drawing skills as well as how the illusions work. The use of perspective in photography is something children are certain to want to try out as well, but this brought us to an interesting discussion on perspective as well. I was able to point out that people looking at the scene from different angles could see completely different things. A good point to keep in mind when arguing! Just because what they claim to have seen is not what you have seen doesn't mean it is untrue - so a small lesson in life as well as in art and science.
They say a good magician never gives up his secrets, but the best part of this book is that the authors do give up the secret as to how and why each illusion works. This doesn't take any of the fun away, instead it adds to it as the penny drops and we see where our eyes have led us astray. Not only is this fun, but it teaches children about their senses as well.
I can't recommend this book highly enough for other home educators. This is very much a book where the children will learn a great deal without ever realising they are learning. I'd also highly recommend this for children who don't show much interest in reading. Any child is going to look through this and enjoy the illusions and sooner or later curiosity will draw them towards the text too. Of course children who do enjoy reading will love this as well. I also feel this would be the ideal coffee table book. It is something that could keep visiting children happy while adults visit, or provide a bit of fun and a great conversation starter for adults.
This was a book the entire family enjoyed, and every one voted this five stars out of five. It isn't often when we all agree so completely on anything.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing and Believing by Clive Gifford and Professor Anil Seth at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing and Believing by Clive Gifford and Professor Anil Seth at Amazon.com.
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