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Amazing Eyes Up Close

Amazing Eyes Up Close - Melissa Stewart The concept behind this Animal Up Close series is interesting, but it probably gets its best effect if you have each of the books: ears, noses, and tails are the ones featured on the reverse cover.

Because of the fine detail in Stewart's photography, I wished the book had been printed in large format (like Nic Bishop's). Also, because the book is supposed to be about each of these eyes, I thought it was strange how small the 'up close' cutouts of the eye photographs were relative to the page. It would have been fun to have the eye just dominate the page instead of sharing it with white space and text.

Each double-page spread is a stand-alone bit of information, so there is no narrative thread. The photos are in a symmetrical, corresponding relationship to the text. But I wouldn't even think of making a book like this without the photos. They're indispensible as examples of what the text is trying to tell about, and actually more important than the simple text.

Also, because the series focuses uniquely across many animals on just one body feature, it transcends a simple internet search. Stewart had to do not only the photography, but the research for each to put together the book.

I'm left with a 'so what' question. When so many eyes are put together, I feel like I have a book of raw data, not with any kind of informational unity. What is it about eyes that this particular grouping helps us notice or think about?