A literal spin through some common optical effects, from moiré patterns and illusory 3-D figures to shadow puppetry and mirror distortions.
This survey employs pull-tabs, embedded wheels, pop-up models and a handful of separate cards and clear plastic overlays stored in a sturdy rear drawer to demonstrate the perils of believing only what we see. Most of the effects work well enough, though there are several that require using easily lost loose pieces to function. Moreover, an image of John Tenniel’s Alice fails an apparent size change as she slides over lines of perspective that are supposed to make her look larger or smaller, and a faux kaleidoscope doesn’t allow in enough light to make clear reflections. Other less-than-successful elements include an op-art square on one spread that physically pops up for no evident reason and mirrors on another that are both placed on a confusingly abstract pop-up construct and accompanied by uselessly vague directions for using “mirror cards” from the rear drawer.
The “magic” is on display, but only fitfully, and even when it does work, it often comes off as labored. (Pop-up/nonfiction. 7-11)