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Invisible Nature A Secret World Beyond our Senses

Written by Catherine Barr

Illustrated by Anne Wilson

Key Stage 1 Key Stage 2 The Natural World Non-Fiction

LoveReading View on Invisible Nature A Secret World Beyond our Senses

Captivate budding young scientists with a first look at natural forces

Young children are by nature curious about the world and how everything works, and this highly visual and beautifully designed picture book wonderfully explains some difficult scientific concepts by putting them in the context first of animals and nature and then of daily human lives. It also highlights how much of our learning comes from our senses and the challenge which Invisible Nature takes on so brilliantly is to explain things that we cannot see, feel, touch, hear or smell and yet which are a fundamental part of our everyday life. These include electromagnetism, microwaves, ultrasound, infrasound, ultra- violet and scents ( those that are beyond human perception but not that of an ant or an albatross) The author has declared her passion for presenting ‘ big issues for small people’ and the clarity of the text is well matched here by the colourful and detailed illustrations and page designs which engage and lead the eye through the explanation. One of the most fascinating images  is at the end of the book where we see a human body and the impacts upon it of these invisible forces and you can see that some things pass through the body  completely undetected – cosmic microwaves, radio waves and electromagnetism from the Earth. The reader will be awed and inspired to learn, for example, about ultra violet lichen which enable reindeer to find food in the dark Arctic winter or the magnetic map that migratory birds hold in their heads or be terrified by piranhas’ use of infrared to detect prey in murky waters. While the use of ultrasound by bats may be familiar it had certainly not occurred to this reader that this was how automatic doors function. This brilliant and enticing information book will attract a wide readership and certainly deserves a place in every library.

Joy Court

Invisible Nature A Secret World Beyond our Senses Synopsis

There are sounds no human ear can hear, scents no-one can smell, colours our eyes cannot detect, waves of radiation that pass right through us without our noticing, but known and used by many different animal species. They have dangers as well as uses, but are vital to all life on Earth.

This fascinating unseen and secret world is revealed in Catherine Barr's latest book. Fourteen colourful spreads display the impact on human and animal life of microwaves; ultra-violet and infra-red light; electromagnetic waves; ultrasound and infrasound and scents and smells beyond human detection. Understanding these hidden forces enables us to use them in many ways. But many animals also use them. They help cats to catch mice, elephants to find mates, vampire bats to find victims. Ants 'talk' by exchanging smells. Indeed, without 'Invisible Nature', life on Earth would not exist at all.

Invisible Nature A Secret World Beyond our Senses Press Reviews

Praise for Red Alert: 15 Endangered Animals Fighting to Survive;

"Interactive and inspiring" ~ Fiona Noble, The Bookseller

"A book with huge credibility and relevance for a young audience" ~ Just Imagine


Book Information

ISBN: 9781910959671
Publication date: 1st April 2020
Author: Catherine Barr
Illustrator: Anne Wilson
Publisher: Otter-Barry Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 40 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2
Topics: The Natural World, Non-Fiction

About Catherine Barr

Catherine Barr studied Ecology at Leeds University and trained as a journalist. She worked at Greenpeace International for seven years as a wildlife and forestry campaigner and has a long-running interest in environmental issues. While working as an editor at the Natural History Museum, she researched and wrote two major summer exhibitions: Dinosaurs of the Gobi Desert and Myths and Monsters. She is now a partner in communications company bwa design. She lives on a hill near Hay-on-Wye in Herefordshire with her partner and two daughters.

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