The bestselling “I Spy” series has sold over 24 million copies worldwide, and for good reason. Kids can get lost for hours in books that provide a full interactive experience like guessing games, search-and-find, or mazes and puzzles. Some books take children beyond the basics while still presenting a wealth of opportunities for education and learning.
I spy with my little eye… more books like “I Spy!” Here are eight books guaranteed to send readers on inquisitive and challenging adventures.
by Satoru Onishi
Perfect for preschoolers, “Who’s Hiding?” pulls little readers into a world of where is it and what is it. They’ll answer fun yet simple questions like “Who’s hiding?” “Who’s crying?” and “Who’s backwards?” while looking for 18 fun-loving animals spread across the pages.
“This is a clever puzzle book for caregivers and young children to share and to learn animals, colors, concepts. A solid choice for most picture-book collections,” says School Library Journal.
“Look! A Book!”
by Bob Staake
Young children will relish this seek-and-find adventure with die-cuts and objects hidden on every page. From underwater worlds to haunted houses to tree-top towns, there are endless details for readers to search for and discover. Poems reveal clues for uncovering dinosaurs, flying saucers, robots, and more. The book ends with a rhyme and a foldout page that ask readers to start all over again.
by Fran Newman-D’Amico
This fun book features 27 sets of brain teasers that ask children to identify the differences between two similar pictures. What’s different in the backyard? What’s different about the butterflies? Discovering how the pictures are unlike one another will delight kids for hours. Once they’ve solved the riddle, they can color the pictures too.
by Theo Guignard
This gorgeously designed maze book for children and adults alike asks the reader to trace a way through 14 different mazes while finding a variety of objects in various worlds. Jump to the future, explore an environment made of plants, or wind your way up a skyscraper.
“With seductively colorful and madcap graphics inviting fingers to trace routes along the page, this is a perfect bridge between book and video game,” writes The Guardian.
by Paul Sloane
This challenging book proclaims, “Logic is not enough!” To unravel a lateral puzzle, you need to think outside of the box. These classic brain teasers range from easy to extremely difficult, offering a puzzle for every mind and age range. Can your child figure out these problems from only the vaguest details and yes-or-no questions? Can you?
by Puzzlewright Press
Many famous works of art contain hidden messages, meanings, and pictures. “Spot-the-Difference Masterpieces” lets the reader journey through time to explore some of the greatest artwork ever created as they find the differences between two images. These 40 fine-art puzzles, from Renaissance Florence to Dutch still life paintings to the Paris of the Impressionists, will dazzle the budding historian, painter, or young creative mind.
by Al Seckel
When they open the pages of “The Ultimate Book of Optical Illusions,” kids will be amazed. Inside is a collection of the world’s most powerful optical illusions. They’re stunning in their trickery and beautiful in their depth and deception. Some images pop from the page, appearing to spin, move, rotate, and pulse. Most will leave diehard puzzle solvers impressed beyond belief.
by Martin Handford
This list would not be complete without a mention of the all-time favorite, “Where’s Waldo?” the puzzle book that sparked an entire genre. For more than 25 years, children have been trying to find cultural icon Waldo hidden in the pages of some pretty glorious illustrations. Some of us are still searching and some of us have yet to begin. Either way, this book should be a mainstay on your home library shelves.
Which books like “I Spy” would you add to this list? Share in the comments!
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