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Walter Wick's Optical Tricks
 
 
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Walter Wick's Optical Tricks [Hardcover]

Walter Wick
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)


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Hardcover, September 1, 1998 --  
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Book Description

September 1, 1998 4 - 8 years380L (What's this?)
A book of impossible objects, magic mirrors, and other amazing illusions is offered by the award-winning creator of "I Spy" and "A Drop of Water". Full color.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From the creator of the I Spy books and the award-winning, irresistibly aquatic A Drop of Water comes Walter Wick's Optical Tricks. Optical illusions abound in Wick's stunning color photographs--tricking the brain into pursuing phantom images. In the opening spread, entitled "First Impressions," we see a white glob of smashed clay, with sunken impressions of objects such as buttons, screws, and chess pieces. But when you turn the page upside down, the clay impressions seem to pop out! In the second spread, "Mirror Magic," you see a collection of objects such as a billiard ball, a die, and a wooden block in the shape of the number 4. The billiard ball, also a number 4, is reflected backward in the mirror, but the block number 4 is not. Why not? Fortunately, readers can flip to the back of the book, where Wick explains the illusions in his refreshingly straightforward and concise manner.

Brilliantly composed photographs of simple props, expert lighting, and myriad mirrors baffle us page after page: a "Tricky Triangle" that has a peculiar twist; a bogus box; Escher-like visual deceptions; and more. Wick explains, "As much as possible, the photographs are designed to challenge readers to compare true perceptions (the objects as they really exist) with false perceptions (the illusions) as a way to cultivate visual logic skills and to sharpen powers of observation." This visually maddening, mind-bending book will challenge and entertain even the keenest young observers. Is it all smoke and mirrors? Most certainly. (Ages 7 and older) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

Wick (photographer of the I Spy books) reaches into his bag of photography tricks and pulls out surprises galore: his baker's dozen of fascinating illusions will stump readers of every age. Nothing is quite what it seems?images that appear indented in clay suddenly pop out in relief when the page is turned upside-down; a handful of fish multiplies into an endless school through the clever use of mirrors; the middle of three columns in a structure seems to disappear somewhere between base and ceiling. Crisply photographed and composed in largely primary colors, the images pack a nifty one-two punch. Best yet, Wick generously reveals the tricks of his trade at the end, explaining the difference between true and false perceptions and showing how, for example, he created the illusion titled "In Suspense" by placing halves of objects on a mirror to make them appear as wholes, floating in space. Part M.C. Escher, part "Magic Eye," but wholly original in their presentation, these irresistible puzzles are nothing short of visual catnip. Ages 7-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 380L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Cartwheel; 1 edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590222279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590222273
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 9.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,430,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elusive illusions April 10, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Goofiness. Utter utter goofiness. Using 4" x 5 " and 8" x 10" view cameras, photographer Walter Wick has done what many would have thought was well nigh impossible. He has systematically photographed some of the world's best known optical illusions. Happen to like the M.C. Escher print where people walk up stairs to a balcony equal in height as to where they started? It's in here. How about cubes whose arms twist in depth defying ways? In here too. Walter Wick is best known for his I Spy book series. With this book, however, he has created a series of amazing oracular photographs that are just as interesting to figure out as they are to look at. Fortunately for the reader, Wicks has included short explanations of how some tricks work and how others fool the eye. He explains how he created his photographs and why some of them work as well as they do. For any child (or, heck, adult) interested in some true to life optical illusions, this is the best book on the market today. But bear in mind, even when Wick's explanations are said and done, some of these photos bear some going over. I, personally, had to read the following sentence five times: "The balcony is attached to the arches in the foreground, but the top of the foreground archway is cut at an angle that matches the angle of the walkway's bottom edge". I'll be honest. I still don't quite know what that means. So if your kid doesn't mind reading some fairly complex explanations like the one above, this book is ideal reading material. If they do mind, best that you find them something a little less brain/word twisting.
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing...Great to train operators of printing press November 25, 1998
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first ordered this book as an nice addition to my library. Nonetheless, once I got it I found an interesting use that I had not thought of before. I decided to show it to different printing press operators at the plant that I help run as a way to convice them of the importance of using a densitometer. Before showing them this book they were reluctant to use them because "we've always done it this way and nobody's complained". With this book I think they now understand that our eyes are not as reliable as we would hope. This book has made my job as plant supervisor easier and in the long run, will definitely help out product's quality assurance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for all ages December 11, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I went to a Walter Wick museum exhibit and fell in love with his work. I had to buy this book. I bought copies for my grandfather, my father, and my cousins (ages 14 and 11). They all loved the book. Some pages are better than others, more interesting or more perplexing. But those special pages are worth it. None of the images in the book are computer generated. Every single image is an actual undoctored photograph. And that is what makes Walter Wick so special: he builds his own models and photographs them for real optical tricks, and you have to figure out how taking such a photograph could be possible.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing is right! March 25, 2001
Format:Hardcover
This book is wonderful and it goes to show you what meets the eye. I am a big fan of Walter Wick's, purchased this book for a gift, and had to keep it myself and get another copy to give. This is a wonderful collection to any library and really makes to think...and wonder.... Excellent Job!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun! February 22, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My two boys ages 8 and 12 had so much fun looking at these with me. So much so, we had to try to find other books like it. The photos really made all of us think about how our brain and our eyes work. Definitely brought up some interesting discussion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars love it December 16, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my daughter-n-laws classroom. She likes these type of books to occupy her students time when finished with assignments.
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More About the Author

When I was young I was a reluctant reader. It was hard for me to sit still and read a book. I preferred activities that got me moving, like neighborhood ball games, bike riding, skiing, sledding, skating, climbing trees, and exploring the woods in Connecticut where I grew up.

I taught also myself to draw. I became fascinated with shapes, shading, and trying to make the objects in my drawings appear to pop out in 3-D. Later I became interested in photography. I took pictures in the woods with my camera, tinkered with equipment in the darkroom, and experimented with artistic effects.

Much later I became the photographer of the I SPY books, in collaboration with writer Jean Marzollo. I did more than take the pictures. I thought of ideas, sketched ideas, collected props, made props, built sets, arranged objects, hid objects, adjusted lights, and took a picture. Then I rearranged objects and took another picture -- sometimes over and over again.

I write as well as illustrate my own books now. In A DROP OF WATER, I combine simple text with clear photographs to explain science secrets of the everyday world. In WALTER WICK'S OPTICAL TRICKS, the everyday world is turned upside down with impossible objects, phantom images, and other perplexing illusions. With the CAN YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? series, I continue the picture-puzzle tradition, taking readers on ever more amazing adventures of the imagination in their quest for hidden objects.

Happy reading!

Walter Wick


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