Nonfiction Picture Books for Readers to Set Their Sights On

These two titles focused on sight examine its principles as one of the five senses and the invention of glasses.

These two titles focused on sight examine its principles as one of the five senses and the invention of glasses.

Houran, Lori Haskins. Glasses: Eureka! The Biography of an Idea. illus. by John Joven. 32p. Kane. Aug. 2021. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781635924244.
Gr 1-4–Glasses are nearly ubiquitous now, but who actually invented them? It turns out the first attempt to change a person’s vision came around 45 AD and people have been improving them ever since. This book is an illustrated time line of that process and includes diagrams of the eye as well as explanations of why a person might need glasses. There are also diagrams using the nomenclature of glasses and how lenses work, showing the different way lenses are used for nearsighted and farsighted people. The artwork is helpful for understanding some of the more complex concepts and the graphics are clearly labeled. One spread describes how the printing press, which allowed more people to access books, influenced the demand for glasses. The story demonstrates to readers that the glasses that are worn today are the product of lots of collaboration and fine tuning over the centuries, not the work of a single person, which is an idea not often brought forward in discussions of the inventive process. VERDICT This would be a good addition to any library serving younger patrons who are interested in science and health sciences and inventions.–Debbie Tanner, S.D. Spady Montessori Elem., FL

Romanyshyn, Romana & Andriy Lesiv. Sight: Glimmer, Glow, SPARK, FLASH! tr. from Ukrainian by Vitaly Chernetsky. 64p. Chronicle. Jul. 2021. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781452179773.
Gr 2 Up–Centered on the theme of one of the five senses, sight, this is an aesthetically pleasing book. The illustrations, consisting primarily of muted primary colors, feature simple shapes that often slightly overlap resulting in images resembling a screenprint. Each spread is devoted to an aspect of sight (or visual impairment) and tangentially related subjects. Topics covered include the parts of the eye; colors; glasses; telescopes; camouflage; Braille; photography; and the way sight differs among various animals such as owls, rats, and humans. Particularly captivating is a spread devoted to optical illusions featuring an illustration with colorful orbs that appear to spin endlessly. Sentences utilizing large font often span the length of a page and convey simple ideas while more complex concepts are expressed using a smaller font in compact rows.­ VERDICT This picture book will serve as a great jumping-off point when introducing the concept of sight. With entry points for both new readers and more advanced readers to engage with the content, it will appeal to a wide swath of students.–Ragan O’Malley, Saint Ann’s Sch., Brooklyn

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?