Illuminature – Book Review

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

I bought this beautiful book because it caught my eye in the book store. It had such a unique view on animal life. How could I pass it by without taking a better look? I wonder if you would enjoy learning about it too. I want to share a book review on this fascinating book, just in case you might.

Illuminature was written by Rachel Williams, a children’s book editor and publisher. Her books on natural history and the great outdoors are an inspiration.

The illustrations in this book are designed by a Milan-based duo – Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla. Do check out their website for more whacky tri-coloured prints and books.

Illuminature observation deck.

The reason this book caught my attention was that each page is covered with exquisite and detailed illustrations in 3 different colours – cyan, magenta and yellow. The fact that you can explore ten wild habitats, each revealing a diverse layer of wonder, adds to the interest and beauty of this book.

When you open the book, you will find a pocket sleeve with the three lenses – red, green and blue. The different coloured lenses help you explore deeper, investigate further and discover what animals are hidden beneath.

3 colour lenses in the book.

The blue lens unveils creatures ruled by nocturnal instincts, whose senses allow them to thrive in the dark – twilight and nighttime. The green shows us the plant life of the habitats of animals, homes of these creatures. The red lens zones in on daytime animals who thrive in light and rest when it gets dark.

three lenses - red, green and blue view.

The contents page shows us ‘how to use this book’, and the series of featured habitats. You get to be transported to The Congo Rainforest, The Simpson Desert, Loch Lomond, The Andes, Weddell and Ross Seas, The Redwood Forest, East Siberian Taiga, The Serengeti Plains, The Ganges River Basin and The Apo Reef and uncover the animals that flourish in these regions with your coloured lenses.

Contents and how to use the book.

Each chapter introduces a different habitat and its features. Read about each night-time and daytime creature at the end of the chapter. Then go back and see if you can spot all of them in the observation deck spread with your coloured lenses.

Art review

Each illustration is breathtakingly detailed and a marvel to look at. Every page keeps you intrigued with its kaleidoscope of colours and textures. The linework is fine, bold and flowing. The textures have been captured with dots, lines and dashes. The artists have taken their subjects and transformed them into a magical menagerie.

Congo Rainforest page spread.

The key takeaway for us artists from this book is to experiment with colours and textures. Try not to be limited by the way we see things.

Detailed view of the Illuminature artwork.

Although it is sold as an educational kids’ book, I think anyone can admire the details the Carnovsky team have added.

My opinion of the book

I might be nitpicking… but I think they could have sold the book with three pairs of ‘glasses’ made with paper holding each coloured lens or provided a pair in which the lenses could be changed.

If you want the full deal, get the RGB lens app on the Carnovsky website which helps you see each animal clearly rather than peeping through each lens with one eye.

This book is such a clever idea! I love how it depicts the intricate and codependent characteristics of all the elements in mother nature. One cannot survive without the other.

I certainly admire the original delivery of flora and fauna and all the other beings we share this planet with. I highly recommend it.

The book is available for $26.25 on Booktopia. It might change when you view it later. I have no affiliation with them.

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