Eye: How it Works

with Sheila Keenan. illus. by David Macaulay. 32p. (My Readers Series). diag. further reading. glossary. index. websites. Roaring Brook/David Macaulay Studio. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781596437814; pap. $3.99. ISBN 9781596437821. LC 2012951526.
Gr 2–4—Macaulay did groundbreaking work beginning in the 1970s, bringing information to older children with such innovative works as Cathedral (Houghton Mifflin, 1973) and "The Way Things Work" series (Houghton Harcourt). This book is geared to newly independent readers who like a challenge. The material is placed within the humorous story framework of a coed soccer game. As the match proceeds, the text explains what "you" are observing at each stage and how your eyes are transferring the information to your brain. The book is formatted in an easy-reader style, with short sentences on each page. Macaulay does not shy away from sophisticated vocabulary and concepts appropriate to his subject, but both are supported by copious, clear diagrams. As the author states, this series "is intended to stimulate both verbal and visual literacy." This book will be a boon to libraries seeking informational titles on this level to support the Common Core.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
With Sheila Keenan. Macaulay places a discussion of the biology of the eye and the physics of sight in the context of a game of soccer. As a girl uses her eyes to play, concepts including the eye's structure, how light enters the eye and travels through the lens, and how images are interpreted are covered. The illustrations use creative perspectives to showcase the science. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind.
David Macaulay uses his signature combination of humor and scientific precision to create an information-packed, kid-friendly explanation of how light, the eye, and the brain work together. A youth soccer match provides the framework for this ophthalmology lesson and adds the excitement of flying soccer balls and game-changing plays. The eyes’ functions are described in relation to what is happening on the field, such as the six muscles that move eyes up, down, left, and right, as well as “keep your eyeballs from popping out” if you get hit on the head with a ball. Amusing illustrations, which often include labeled details, work with the text to explain and entertain. One flowchart-like image shows the process of the brain as it uses the dots, lines, and colors sent from the eyes to recognize the face of a teammate: “Face of a dog? No. . . . Face with a beard? No. . . . Aunt Agnes? No. Wait a minute . . . It’s Roger!” To clarify the more complicated descriptions, Macaulay reviews information in a half-time huddle and includes a glossary defining the terms covered.

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