CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 6 . . . . October 12, 2012
The amount of fun you will get out of this book is probably worth the modest price. The Quiz Book for Spies is full of word play, picture puzzles, secret codes, jokes and a couple of ‘choose your own adventure’ type stories. Everything is related to spying with some interesting trivia included. Maybe you knew that chef Julia Child was a spy, but did you also know that she invented a shark repellant?
My favourite activity was “Can You Decode Teacherspeak?”, funny ‘translations’ that rang surprisingly true. The young readers will probably recognize the ‘translations’ also, but I’m not sure they will see the humour like I did.
Because the answers to each activity are placed immediately after the activity, there is no extra step required to flip to the back of the book or turn the page upside down. Developing readers will probably have fun working their way through the pages or skipping about to do the activities in random order.
In addition to the reading and writing ‘spy’ activities, there is also one series of physical tests to determine “Are You Fit to be a Spy?” The activities test upper body strength, core strength, aerobic fitness and balance. A simple evaluation scale tells readers how close they are to being a “Super Spy”.
The author, H. Becker, has written the activities using the personal pronoun ‘you’, making most of the writing gender neutral. Unfortunately the illustrations are predominately male. The cartoon-like illustrations do add to the spy-themed fun, but creating a more equal balance between male and female spies would have made this book even better.
Suzanne Pierson, a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructs librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.