Move over Walter Wick, Ancutici has a new spin on the old “I Spy” concept.
In this German import via Canada, unrhymed but poetic stanzas challenge readers to find specific items within the photographic assemblage of each full-page letter. There is no apparent correlation between the objects filling the letter shape and the actual letter itself; instead the dazzling photos group the jumble of things by theme or color schemes. For example, the letter H is composed of bright red, yellow, pink, and orange beads and spools. “Do you see the five yellow flowers? / It’s not easy. How about a / purple ball and two pink rabbits? / This is much harder than it looks.” Sometimes letters facing each other across a spread will show some relationship: letter P is a medley of vegetables, while letter O is a mélange of fruit. Other spreads don’t seem to try. Letter Z is filled with postage stamps, while letter Y is a composite of matryoshka dolls. Each challenge begins with the game refrain “Can you see what I see?” The legend in the back provides the answers, with white circles drawn around each of the objects to be found. Crisp design and bold colors create visual intrigue in companion title I Spy 1,2,3 as well.
Families looking with their little eyes for seek-and-find activity need peer no longer. (Picture book. 4-8)