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My Big Book of Art and Illusion

Learn About Illusions in Art and Try Some Experiments of Your Own

My Big Book of Art and Illusion by Silke Vry, published by Prestel Verlag

My Big Book of Art and Illusion is fascinating and unusual.  I have never seen a book quite like this and think that you and your boy(s) are really going to enjoy it.

Do your eyes get tricked while looking at illusions?  Well, not really.  It is your brain that is confused and sometimes fooled by things it is simply not used to seeing.  Some examples are given in the beginning of the book:  soup:  hot = blow; music:  loud = turn it down; floating person = what!?, a floating person?  People can’t float so your brain is instantly trying to figure things out.

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Check out the image above, but don’t get dizzy!  It really looks like those circles are moving doesn’t it?  Amazing.

What I love about utilizing illusion books is the premise that your brain is trying to figure things out and that makes the brain work harder and make new connections which leads to a lot of learning.  Anytime you can get your boys’ brain thinking about something unusual or questioning what it sees you are helping your boy learn new things.

The book was impressive in many ways.  It is an oversized book so you don’t have to squint and try to find the illusion in a tiny spot on the page.  Each illusion is a two page spread and they are quite intriguing.  There is at least one main image as well as text to walk us through and ask questions about what we see and what the brain perceives.  The images and illustrations are of high quality and worth looking at on their own.  The author also uses real artwork and it is nice to for kids to, over time by reading different books, begin to recognize some of the artists.  The combination of the writing and the images make this book a winner.

We really liked several of the illusions. One was the circles that look like they are moving (see image above,) another was the books coming out of a window.  The animals hands were a favorite, as was the painted chasm.

Note: there is a stick figure crime scene that includes a man pulling a knife on a woman.  It is in one of the exercises and is to be drawn on fingers.  I don’t get the point of it and think they could have come up with something better.  There is also a “bathing beauty” sculpture from Germany.  Her head and knees are sticking out of the water.  Just letting more sensitive readers know.  Boys I know thought the crime scene was cool and the bathing beauty–eew.

Within each section is a simple activity to get you more familiar with the illusion presented and to really get those wheels turning.  I think you and your boys will enjoy doing some of them.  There is an Escher print paired with an endless LEGO staircase you can build.  There is also a neat lollipop that smashed a car (hot wheel) and directions on how you can re-create the illusion.

There was no author information in the book but Silke Vry has written other books on art and on art illusions.  I know I am going to be getting more titles by her as we certainly enjoyed this one.  My Big Book of Art and Illusion is a wonderful book of visual tricks— Recommended.

My Big Book of Art and Illusion

You might also enjoy these reviews on good books for boys:

What’s Your Favorite Animal

The Scraps Book

Star Wars Origami