cover image Out of Sight: Pictures of Hidden Worlds

Out of Sight: Pictures of Hidden Worlds

Seymour Simon, Chronicle Books. Seastar Books, $15.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-1-58717-011-9

Photos of objects beyond the detection of the human eye--either because they are infinitesimal, too large, too far away or hidden inside the human body--are reproduced with remarkable clarity in Simon's (Destination: Jupiter) insightful volume. The author keeps his text to a minimum, explaining succinctly each image featured and the methods and instruments used to capture them, including compound microscopes, fiber optics, CAT scans, MRIs, thermograms and high-speed photography. Only occasionally does the narrative become overly technical for the targeted audience, as in a description of the magnification of subatomic particles in motion. Even the creepy pictures (a head louse magnified 320 times; and plaque and tartar on the surface of a tooth, magnified some 2,700 times) will attract readers. From a three-dimensional picture of a virus, as seen through an electron microscope, to a dramatic photograph of the vast Eagle Nebula, a star-forming region of the Milky Way galaxy, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, these images are awesome in every sense of the word. Ages 5-up. (Aug.)