Invisible Nature

A Secret World Beyond our Senses

Illustrator: Anne Wilson

Binding: Paperback

Imprint: Otter-Barry Books

1 Other Related Editions

Age 6+

Nature, The Natural World

Explore the hidden forces of sight, sound touch and smell that lie beyond human senses but which animals use in amazing ways

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.


Catherine Barr specializes in clear explanations of ‘big issues for small people’. She has worked with Greenpeace and London's Natural History Museum before becoming a full-time researcher-writer. She describes herself as "interested in writing non-fiction stories that spark questions and conversation". Her bestselling book, The Story of Life, explaining the principle of evolution, was shortlisted for the English Association Picture Book Award in 2016. Her previous book for Otter-Barry Books is Red Alert! 15 Endangered Animals Fighting to Survive (2018). Catherine Barr lives near Hay-on-Wye.

Anne Wilson has as MA in illustration from Central St Martins College of Art, London and has been practising as an illustrator for over 15 years. Much of her work is inspired by everyday life; pattern, colour and shape, She incorporates figurative elements, layers and textures, with mixed media, printmaking and computer techniques. She illustrated Catherine Barr's Red Alert. Anne Wilson lives in Goring-on-Thames, Berkshire.


If your little ones have inquisitive minds and a love for all things nature, the fascinating new book by Catherine Barr will light up their imaginations.

Discover Animals

A stunningly visual non-fiction picture book for younger children, exploring the unseen but immensely powerful natural forces that govern life on our planet. A fascinating combination of natural history and scientific principles, using the lives of animals to explain it in a fun, clear way.

The Bookseller

The first book for younger children to attempt to explain the unseen but powerful natural forces that govern life on our planet. A fascinating combination of natural history and scientific principles.

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