By Author / Illustrator
Catherine Barr, Anne Wilson
Otter-Barry Books Ltd
There are sounds no human ear can hear, scents no-one can smell, colours our eyes cannot detect, waves of radiation that pass right through us without our noticing, but known and used by many different animal species. They have dangers as well as uses, but are vital to all life on Earth. This fascinating unseen and secret world is revealed in Catherine Barr's latest book.
Fourteen colourful spreads display the impact on human and animal life of microwaves; ultra-violet and infra-red light; electromagnetic waves; ultrasound and infrasound and scents and smells beyond human detection. Understanding these hidden forces enables us to use them in many ways. But many animals also use them. They help cats to catch mice, elephants to find mates, vampire bats to find victims. Ants 'talk' by exchanging smells. Indeed, without 'Invisible Nature', life on Earth would not exist at all.
Invisible Nature: A Secret World Beyond our Senses is a non-fiction book by Catherine Barr and Anne Wilson. The authors make a brilliant and successful attempt at trying to demonstrate, explain and illustrate some challenging scientific concepts.
This book will satisfy the unquenchable thirst that children have about nature and how things work. The authors make valiant efforts to explain things that we cannot see hear of touch such as ultraviolet, scents and electromagnetism (to list a few). This book breaks down these concepts with beautiful illustrations and some fascinating facts to accompany them: some of which were news to me. Children will discover how animals use these mysterious powers in their world and how humans have come to make use of them as well.
The book will draw in a wide audience and is perfect for homes and schools. It will help adults to explain some difficult concepts to children but could also be used as a supporting book or a focus book for scientific research in schools. Children will gain a much deeper understanding of the hidden /invisible world that is beyond our five senses.
I really like how the author gives us examples of each of these concepts from two perspectives: the natural world and the human world. It gives a unique and engaging perspective on these concepts which ends in an amazing illustration on how all of these concepts simultaneously affect different parts of the human body.
Although some of these concepts will be challenging for a younger audience, the illustrations will support their understanding. With the support of an adult to differentiate the language for them, children aged, 4-7yrs can access this book. However, I would suggest that the recommended audience for this book would be for children aged 8-15yrs.
40 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by James Hewish, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+