Invisible Nature

Authored by Catherine Barr
Illustrated by Anne Wilson
Published by Otter-Barry

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Catherine Barr and Anne Wilson team up again to produce a vibrant exploration of natural science that has been adapted by humans.

Every day (or at least, familiar) words such as microwave and infrared are explained as they exist in the world. At first, we are told how scientists know they are there, what they might be used for in the natural world and given plenty of easy-to-digest facts about each word. A second double-page spread then goes further, explaining how each of these phenomena are found in our day-to-day lives.

Take ultraviolet, for example. The natural world side of things explores ultraviolet light that we might not know exists. Did you know butterflies use ultraviolet spots to communicate with one another? Or that some lichens glow in order to alert reindeer to their presence in barren landscapes? Me neither. The following page then brings it to our lived experience: sun cream to protect us from UV light, or hi-vis clothing to keep us safe when out at night.

The format of the book allows for quick gaining of knowledge and could be used across Key Stage 2 to support different elements of the curriculum. While not a ‘heavy’ book in terms of its vocabulary or breadth of explanations, it does keep things snappy, and the visuals positively glow on the page. Definitely a book to extend knowledge and to provide moments of awe and wonder each time it is read.

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