Another optical illusions book? Well, the first three in the series won awards and nominations globally, so it was no surprise that DK wanted another… No pressure for this one then!
But we think we’ve cracked it. Sense-ational Illusions isn’t just your common-or-garden optical illusions book – this one was out to fool all of your senses. (Well, all of the main five plus a few. Did you know your body has lots of other senses too? We didn’t want to test pain or hunger or knowing when it’s time to go to the loo though…) Not only that, but each illusion/experiment comes with an explanation of how and why it fools you.
Of course we started with sight and some amazing optical illusions, such as this anomalous motion image, which seems to move of its own accord:
… and this colour-based illusion:
Then we turned our attention to the rest of the body.
Smell was next: we had to get some scratch & sniff in the book! Ah, childhood memories of fruit-scented erasers. Of course, smell is closely linked to our sense of taste. We wanted some rice-paper flavour samples in the book, but health and safety prevented that. Instead, we have half a dozen fun experiments to try at home by raiding your own kitchen. And while you’re in the kitchen, save the yogurt pots to make a string telephone, or grab some rice and clingfilm to make an eardrum, just two of the fun ways to test your sense of sound.
The book gets all interactive again with the sense of touch. Embossed animals to identify; braille numbers; and tactile, shut-your-eyes-and-use-your-fingers-only, no-peeking, we-really-mean-it, 3D mazes:
Talking of mazes, we’ve got a unique version of a marble run embedded in the end of the book: a ball-bearing challenge to test your hand-eye co-ordination (and your sight if you drop the ball bearing and need to look for it!). I’ve never seen so many grown adults get so frustrated and yet so determined to finish a challenge as when we shared this with the office…
Being aware of your body’s movements (called proprioception, don’t you know) isn’t as easy as you think. We had fun around the office testing games that seemed so simple – until you tried them. Go on, give these a go now, we challenge you!
As fun as the above all are, none of those is my favourite bit of the book. That honour goes to this friendly dalmatian:
Did you see the horse? Be honest!
Now you know the kinds of fun we’re having in Sense-ational Illusions, how can you resist buying it? You know it makes sense!
The Illusions series is the work of Fleur Star (editorial; DK stalwart of 13 years – and writer of this blog) and Jem Westing (paper engineering and design; by comparison a DK newcomer of 5 years).
We’ve worked together on umpteen books and like to think we bring our own flavour of creativity not only to the page but also to the office! My biggest bugbear is stuffy text (and bad grammar. And bad spelling. Ok, there are lots), which means I try hard to make text appealing to the readers whatever their age; while Jem’s mission is to engage reluctant readers by making learning exciting and fun. She also brings a literal new dimension to the books with paper engineering (pop-ups, sculptures, flaps, tabs, games, kits…).