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I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE by Edward Gibbs Kirkus Star


From the I Spy… (Gibbs) series

by Edward Gibbs & illustrated by Edward Gibbs

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7636-5284-5
Publisher: Templar/Candlewick

Readers play the “I Spy” game with hidden animals, guessing their identities using only peep-hole glimpses of an eye and a patch of color. The animals provide a single clue ("I have a very long trunk") just before a dramatic page turn that delivers a full-bleed, monochromatic portrait of the mystery creature in its environment. The massive double-spread illustrations, with their commitment to one color and the trick of flipping the hole cut-out so that it meshes with the eye on the previous page to complete the animal, produce solidly satisfying revelatory moments. Lively black line work describes a lion’s unruly mane, an elephant’s wrinkles and a fox’s clever, curled lip. These wonderful, inky loops and tangles add wild-haired authenticity to the watercolor animals, which appear against flat habitat scenes. The spy hole steals the show, however, creating an active reading experience right up until the final page. “What can you spy with your little eye?” Children will surely press the book to their faces, squinting gleefully and listing fixtures in their world: Daddy! bookshelf! pillow! An ingenious use of die-cut technology to complement the fun of such favorites as Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Picture book. 2-6)