Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Doing & Learning
SENSEational Illusions

SENSEational Illusions

Spring 2016 Doing & Learning
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Publisher: DK Publishing
ISBN: 9781465438294
Hardcover Price: $19.99

This hands-on, entirely interactive book is designed to make sense of our senses mostly by demonstrating how our senses can be tricked and deceived. It focuses largely on the recognized five-sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

Jammed-packed with 31 graphics-loaded and colorful pages, this book will delight, confuse and perplex young readers with its optical illusions, pop-up puzzles, scratch-n-sniff tests, and touch-only mazes, before explaining the science behind each exercise or test.

Example: One graphic of a white rectangle with a blue dot on one side and a red triangle on the other demonstrates in shocking fashion that we all have blind spots. (Follow the easy directions and the red triangle actually disappears right before your very eyes!) Other trickery of the senses includes a grid of red and yellow squares whose lines look wavy but actually are straight; a scratch-n-sniff matching fruit test; and physical exercises that explore the powers and deceptions of touch and taste. There's a ball-bearing maze at the end that tests hand-eye coordination. And some of the book's interactivity goes beyond its pages with demonstrations that readers and friends can do together.

Fact is that some of the sense-challenging activities have been around the block a few times-but most young readers won't know that. Meanwhile, it's easy to read, fun to do, totally engaging and will instill in youngsters a sense of wonder about how their bodies process the world around them.

Don Oldenburg   ©2016 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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