Walter Wick's Optical Tricks
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Walter Wick's Optical Tricks

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by Walter Wick

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Walter Wick's amazing puzzler celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new redesigned foil cover and an eye-popping magic-picture postcard!

You may have seen drawings of impossible objects, but have you ever seen them photographed? Wick's book of optical illusions leaves readers of all ages wondering just how the I Spy photographer does it!

This book combines


Walter Wick's amazing puzzler celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new redesigned foil cover and an eye-popping magic-picture postcard!

You may have seen drawings of impossible objects, but have you ever seen them photographed? Wick's book of optical illusions leaves readers of all ages wondering just how the I Spy photographer does it!

This book combines fascinating optical illusions with simple explanations of how the visual tricks work. Photos of "Stairs to Nowhere," "The Phantom of the Forest," and more seemingly improbable images are a delightful treat for the eye and mind. Beautiful, challenging, and just really fun, this book has to be seen to be believed. And once you see it, you won't be able to put it down!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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.
Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
If you have grown weary of all the books searching for the little man in the red-striped hat, this will be a welcome change. Math and science teachers looking for a new way to introduce optical illusions will want to include this title in their classroom collection. The author has presented the reader with thirteen tricks to be solved. Additional quandaries will be found on the inside cover, front cover, back cover and title page. This is an excellent, although unusual, addition to the upper elementary and middle school media center collections for math and science. It also makes a great gift title for the inquisitive adolescent reader.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Communication between eye and mind is disoriented with a series of colorful photos of meticulously chosen or carefully constructed objects painstakingly arranged and ingeniously photographed from extremely precise angles. Challenges are presented both in those often-frustrating photos and in the simply written text, with the "illusions" revealed on subsequent pages by having readers change their viewpoint, or in consultation with a series of "solutions" and explanations at the back of the book. In a conclusion, youngsters are reassured that not everyone can "see" every illusion, and that this work is meant as " entertaining introduction to the mysteries of visual perception..." and not an "intelligence test." Highly sophisticated despite its appearance of colorful ingenuousness, this new endeavor from the creator of A Drop of Water (Scholastic, 1997) will prove engagingly demanding to those who can "see" 3-D op art in a trice, and annoyingly exacting to those who cannot. Stimulating, if frustrating, and certainly not in the usual stripe of books on optical illusions.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Molly E. Rauch
. . .[E]ach image is a reminder that left to its own devices the brain will follow a well-worn path, even if the resulting perception is altogether impossible. --The New York Times Book Review
Daniel Braband
The creator of A Drop of Water offers up another visually stunning title, this time exploring the art of illusion. Wick's elegant yet bold style of photography is ideally suited for the task of visual deception. The illusions work exceedingly well and range from simple mirror and geometric paradoxes to Escher-like visual trickery; with some of the images you can actually "feel" and "see" your perception of the image change as your mind works to sort out the unexpected visual input. Paired with each full-page color photograph are well-matched descriptions that point the observer to key elements of the illusions. While Wick's model construction and photographs alone warrant significant accolades, the accompanying text and the supplemental explanations found at the back of the book accomplish something rarely achieved in books of this genre: scientific writing that is rigorous without diminishing the intrigue and fun of the illusionary experiences. An afterword assures readers who may have had difficulties perceiving certain illusions that even experts do not fully understand the spectrum of individual responses to optical tricks. The text states, "The illusions in this book are not meant to be an intelligence test, but a playful and entertaining introduction to the mysteries of visual perception." Wick delivers just that.----Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
This challenging book of optical illusions from Wick (A Drop of Water) will leave some readers gasping in awe, and others befuddled, as they ought to be by such visual trickery. Stunning photographs tease with false perceptions, shadowplays, and mirror tricks. Every photograph is a set piece (many of them sporting the same aesthetic sensibility of Wick and Jean Marzollo's I Spy books), and the opposite page asks readers various questions about what they're seeing. The very best pictures are patterned on the classic M.C. Escher drawings, paradoxes of impossible triangles, cubes, and other structures. Wick provides answers, ably explaining the perceptual twists, and adds an intelligent (and, for flummoxed readers, compassionate) closing: "The variety of ways individuals experience optical illusions is in itself an interesting area of inquiry, but it's important to keep in mind that why such differences occur is not fully understood—even by experts—and that each reader should experience the book at his or her own pace." A book to elicit appreciative murmurs at story hours, and return visits for closer looks.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
10th Anniversary Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Walter Wick is the photographer of the bestselling I Spy series as well as the author and photographer of the bestselling Can You See What I See? series. He lives with his wife, Linda, in Connecticut.

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Walter Wick's Optical Tricks 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MsCRTR More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my son. He's 8. I thought it was a little advanced for him. He got bored with it and didn't quite understand some of the puzzles. It wasn't what I expected it to be. I thought it would be similar to the Eye Spy books. My suggestion is don't buy online unless you've seen the book in person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love these kind of books and when i got this one i was amazed. i loved it!! i liked it better then any other books. i even collect them.