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I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles Hardcover – April 1, 1992

4.8 out of 5 stars 251 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

I spy... a little baby's footprint, a heart-shaped box, a silver jack, a train track, a comb, a button, a pine cone... and hundreds upon hundreds of other small, interesting objects. Here is the original I Spy picture book, the one that launched the very popular series by rhyme-ster Jean Marzollo and photographer Walter Wick. Each sizeable two-page spread features an assortment of crisply photographed items, along with a rhyming litany that serves as a riddle for readers to solve:
I spy a snake, a three-letter word,
And flying underneath, a great white bird;
Nine gold stars, a blue tube of glitter,
One clay cat, and a six-legged critter.
The beauty of these books, which include I Spy Funhouse and I Spy Gold Challenger, is that when the initial riddle is solved, there are still extra credit riddles in the back, as well as countless other games of varying degrees of difficulty any imaginative parent or child can create. Readers of all ages, distracted by the bright, eye-catching objects, may find the challenge surprisingly difficult, and will delight in finding something new with every reading. (Ages 3 to 7) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Following in the footsteps of the Waldo books Where's Waldo and presented in the now-familiar but still arresting Eyewitness Books format, this oversize puzzle book presents a wealth of opportunities for education and entertainment. Dozens of brightly colored objects of all shapes and sizes, some conventional and some not, are scattered helter-skelter across 13 spreads. Balls and skittles spill over racquets; flowers, leaves and stones are set out for a nature picnic; a sandy scene depicts fish, shells and zany sunglasses. A rhyming riddle on each page invites children to dive in and hunt down certain objects, and this is merely the beginning. Variations on the search are limitless, as are the possibilities for learning--colors, numbers, shapes. The challenge is surprisingly great. Excellent, sharp photographic work combined with ingenuity and imagination make this well-conceived book a winner. All ages.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Series: I Spy
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Cartwheel; Reprinted edition edition (April 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590450875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590450874
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.4 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Unless you have a photographic memory, you will find that the challenge of finding the images described in these rhyming riddles to be a fresh one each time you open a page. Pretty soon, the items in the puzzle all look alike. Growing a little weary of looking, you eventually call out for help. And then another person is drawn in. And then another. Pretty soon, you have the equivalent of a marshmallow roast around a campfire going on for all your friends and family.
There are 13 picture puzzles on the themes of ornaments, winter wonderland, window shopping, the holly and the ivy, winter sports, baking cookies, Christmas crafts, Santa's workshop, stocking stuffers, antique teddy bears, nutcracker sweets, under the tree, and Silent Night. As you can tell from the subjects, each puzzle explores a different aspect of the Christmas holiday.
Each photograph for the puzzle is almost two oversized facing pages of brilliant color crammed with details. At the bottom is a brief couplet, telling you what to find. It is in the form of
I spy an A, a B,
The C, a D;
Two Es, a P,
Some Qs, and a Z.
The images range enormously from large, obvious ones (7 pine cones) to subtle, partially hidden ones (the shadow of a star).
A separate photographic set was established for each image, which gives lots of variety of scene and lighting. Most sets were about four feet by eight feet and were photographed with an 8" by 10" view camera. Chicken wire, baking soda for snow, and other disguises are used to make it all seem like Christmas. Each photograph is in stunning color. I especially liked the one with the Christmas ornaments.
The book also contains some extra credit riddles, such as what item is in each photograph.
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Format: Hardcover
This book in the "I Spy" series was a long-lasting adventure for my children, ages 3 and 5. They were able to complete many of the riddles on their own, working together to solve them. Then we (the parents) jumped in, and we were hooked immediately. Once we solved all the riddles, we then used the "extra-credit" suggestions in the back. That prompted us to make up our OWN riddles from the pictures. Then, it got interesting....one day, Poppy (Grandpa) came to visit, and he saw the girls working on the Fantasy Book. He became deeply engrossed in this book, as I had never seen before. After 10 minutes, my kids were helping my father solve the riddles. Seems he needed a refresher course on powers of observation (although eyesight was mentioned once, but discounted). My father spent an hour of his visit working and playing with my kids on this book. I know what his stocking will be full of this Christmas. I can recommend that to others as well...not for kids only!
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By A Customer on April 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Unless your memory is photographic, you will find it challenging to find the things described in these rhyming riddles to be a brand new each time you open this. Pretty soon, the items in the puzzle all look alike. Growing a little weary of looking, you eventually call out for help, which makes these a great family time. Funny but the older the person the more frustration they seem to have. My children's grandfather still gets so amazed with these then he gives up and says " its not on there...I looked " then the three year old will spot that same object he was looking for. The I Spy Fantasy has the most unbelievable pictures. There are also extra credit riddles in the back of the book so these books never get old. My family owns each one and these are truly our favorite!
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By A Customer on March 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I agree totally with the review from the reader saying " this is a MUST have for the home library ". Our home library has every I Spy book. We love these books. I Spy: a Book of Picture Riddles is a great one to start your collection. As my children 10, 8, and 5 started very young with this book. These books encourage your child to think, to learn, and to explore while they do this with fun and enjoyment. I cannot rave about these books enough because each time you open one up you have a new experience. You will enjoy the many hours of entertainment and time spent with your child as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We bought this when my daughter was about 4 years old and it quickly became her favorite book. She had an incredible ability to locate items in the photographs that boggled my mind. And, she never tired of finding those items. She is now 11 and just gave the book up.
I was amazed by the beautiful photographs and the fantastic way the items are hidden in the photgraphs. I had as much fun reading this book with my daughter as she did.
If you want to find the perfect book to bond with a son or daughter over...this is it!!!
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By A Customer on February 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My son came home from the school library with this book the day before my Mother came for a weekend visit. He paid no attention to the book after arriving home until my Mother picked it up. Within a few minutes he, she, my stepfather and our younger son were totally engrossed in it and spent several hours poring over the pictures. I reminded the boys that they had another I Spy book in their room which they had never paid any attention to. They went flying to get it and all four of them had to be pried away from the book for dinner. My sons and my Mother had never really made a very warm emotional connection until they shared these books. That was several weeks ago and they still talk about it and my Mother is sending me pictures via e-mail of them solving the riddles in the books which I had taken with her camera. These books are a hit with everyone in my house.
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