________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 7 . . . . November 26, 1999

cover I Spy Treasure Hunt: A Book of Picture Riddles.

Walter Wick (Photographer). Riddles by Jean Marzollo.
New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada Ltd.), 1999.
36 pp., cloth, $17.99.
ISBN 0-439-04244-5.

Subject Heading:
Picture puzzles-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1 and up / Ages 6 and up.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.

***.5 /4

About the tenth book in the "Eye Spy" series, Walter Wick says:

"For this book, I decided to do something different. Rather than build one set for each photograph as I did for previous I Spy books, I built a miniature village, a place called Smuggler's Cove, and photographed it from five points of view.... Smuggler's Cove was built on a sixteen-by-sixteen- foot stage in HO scale (1:87). 'The Treasure Chest Store,''The Map,' 'The Tree House and the Waterfall,' 'Shelter from the Storm,' 'The Cave,' and 'Treasure at Last!' were separate sets constructed at larger scales. 'The Beach' was a large scale model used in combination with the HO scale landscape....The entire project, from the planning and the sketches, to the completion of the sets and photographs, took nine months."
image Once again, young and old "I Spy" fans are challenged by a dozen double page spreads which, somewhere, contain anywhere from as few as seven to as many as 23 items which the viewer is invited to discover. The to-be-found items are identified via Marzollo's pair of rhyming couplets. With no "answer key" being provided, finding all of the objects could be a very long, if not impossible, task. To increase the challenge, viewers can encounter words, like "cone" and "bat," which have a number of meanings. "Should I be looking for a mammal when perhaps it is a bat of the baseball variety which I really should be seeking?" Some of the pictures are darkly lit, a situation which increases the challenge, and, in some instances, older eyes might benefit from the use of a magnifying glass. For the truly competitive, Marzollo offers an additional dozen rhyming couplets at the book's end and then invites viewers to use the objects cited in her poetry as clues for matching the couplets with the appropriate photos. She also proffers a "Find Me" riddle:
I sit, I perch, I fly to and fro:
I'm in every picture; I'm a sleek black
While completing the rhyme is simple, finding this feathered creature "in every picture" is yet another matter. Great fun for all ages, I Spy Treasure Hunt is a book that can (and must) be returned to again and again. A definite purchase for rainy or blizzardy days or to pack for long car trips involving restless children.

Highly recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and adolescent literature at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364