'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 11 November 2016

Review: Illuminature


There's been a few colour-lens books hopping onto book shelves of late, and each has been sheer delight. Viewing a wobbly-sort of double-vision image is an artistic delight in itself (I mean look at the beautiful cover of this book) but view the same image through a variety of coloured lenses--et voila--monkeys appear, trees loom, pineapples pop.

It's truly wonderful stuff--and Illuminature is not only another addition to colour-lens books, it's an astonishing addition.

Featuring three separate colours--red to view daytime animals, green to view habitats and blue to view nighttime critters ... readers are treated to a stunning vista of beautifully-crafted illustrations, depending on which lens they're peeking through. And the way each scene appears is something truly magical.

Adults will take full, oohing delight in viewing these pages--so imagine, if you will--how striking this would be through the eyes of a child. True eye-boggling wonder, I'm sure. Get set for little ones peering through coloured lens with eyebrows high and mouths agape.

Book content includes spectacular endpapers, a contents page with 'how to use this book', and a series of spreads featuring The Congo Rainforest, The Simpson Desert, Loch Lomond, The Andes, Weddell and Ross Seas, The Redwood Forest, East Siberian Taiga, The Serengeti Plains, The Ganges River Baison and The Apo Reef.

Each 6-page chapter introduces the habitat, with facts on location, size and who lives there. We're then treated to an 'observation deck'--a full spread of imagery hiding night animals, day animals and plants (habitat). To rest the eye and break up each chapter, a third spread is next--a black and white double page spread that elaborates on each animal featured. Cleverly, the daytime animals are on the white page and the nighttime animals are on the black page.

A note on the lenses: I did find the blue lens quite dark to look through--though this could well be my middle-aged eyes, and the fact that it's meant to appear quite dark when viewing nighttime animals. Compared with the fabulously bright appearance of the red and green scenes, it's just really hard to see any detail on the animals featured in the nighttime scenes. The square-shaped eye-holes also make it impossible to view the pages with more than one eye.

Nevertheless ... intelligent, thoughtful, informative and beautifully-crafted, Illuminature is one impressive and enthralling creation.

Like your nature books brilliantly illuminated? Don't miss this.

Title: Illuminature
Author: Rachel Williams
Illustrator: Carnovsky
Publisher: Wide Eyed, $35
Publication Date: 26 October 2016
Format: Hard cover, large
ISBN: 9781847808868
For ages: 2+
Type: Picture Book, Non-Fiction