This new offering from the Tate Gallery’s publishing arm asks simple questions about visual perception, challenging readers to make judgments about relationships between familiar objects.
The subjects are varied: the view of the ground from a plane or tall building; the comparison between different tall objects such as a tree, crane, or high-rise vs. a dinosaur; a variety of tiny things, such as a speck of dirt, an ant’s foot, or a pinhole in a shirt; as well as views through a microscope or inside an old TV. Some of the examples are apposite, but some seem rather lame, such as the filling from the middle of a pillow. The apparent intention, to teach simple science concepts, is let down by the illustrations, which consist of bold, flat, textured geometric shapes, often close-ups of faces and hands, which although diverse in skin color, are not the best medium for explaining the concepts under discussion. Worse, the illustrations are mostly imaginary, such as animals under a microscope with eyes, and the inside of a TV full of playful but unrealistic spools and threads.
Science books for the young can and should do better than this. (Picture book. 3-5)