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4.4 out of 5 stars
Amazing Optical Illusions
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This book of amazing illusions is a good gift and good fun for people of all ages. While ostensibly a children's book, I've used the pictures here to entertain and educate groups of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is fascinating to see what different people pick up and out of the photographs, but there is always at least one picture for each group that has people protesting that the illusion is not in fact what it purports to be.

Many people are familiar with the fantastic creations of people such as Escher; while there are not actual Escher pieces, they all tap into the same element of mystery. Some of the illusions are very straight-forward - the image of the faces facing each other, which then becomes a vase, or the parallel lines drawn on the backdrop of pattern lines radiating out, which then gives the illusion that the lines are not parallel, are fairly well known. Other pieces, such as the portrait of Emperor Rudolf II done by Giuseppe Arcimboldo in the 1500s entirely out of fruite, or the various `spirals' constructed exclusively out of concentric, separate circles are less well known.

The tricks here, such as they are, are fairly simple to understand. Much of them rely on perspective distortion of the senses, pattern fuzziness, or colour ambiguities and playfulness. The side-wise house in San Francisco, for example, relies on the camera being level with the street, rather than the house; the people in photographs appearing as differently sized depends upon perspective gerrymandering.

Some pieces are quite clever; the falling bookshelves that are not in fact falling is a piece that exists in the real world; the colonnaded patio seen from above and below is more in the tradition of Escher, in that it cannot exist in the real world.

This is a fun little book, that will likely give hours of amusing and thought-provoking engagement for children of all ages.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2010
I bought two of these books as part of a selection of prizes for a competition I ran in work for school children to design a poster. We had some great feedback about the books and the children loved them. All the staff in work also enjoyed looking through them, so a great buy all round.Fab for the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2013
This books features all the famous optical illusions that you will know and a few more. A small book but very interesting for kids who have never seen optical illusions before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2013
bought this for my nephew as a stocking filler for christmas and he always talks about how good it is so a good buy for anyone who likes their art and unusual things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2012
This really isn't worth £3.95. It's 29 pages of pretty much standard illusions that you can find in seconds via a Google search. More suited to a pound store really
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on 15 January 2013
I bought this book for my husband. Bot he and my grandsons thought the book amazing. They oohed over it for ages.and it kept them all quiet, which for me was great.
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on 20 February 2015
not as good as expected
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on 22 December 2014
As described. Thank you
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on 4 January 2015
Excellent book.
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on 5 September 2014
was a gift
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