I Spy

I SPY SCHOOL DAYS: A BOOK OF PICTURE RIDDLES, by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick.

Full of clever rhyming riddles and colorful, visually stunning photographs, this imaginative interactive book is a wonderful addition to any home or school library. Although the suggested age range is 4-7 years, even younger children will enjoy looking at the pictures and identifying items.

For beginning learners, the book provides practice in recognizing letters, numbers, shapes, objects, and words. Older children and adults can’t resist searching for the hidden objects either, so it becomes a pleasant diversion for the whole family.

The eye-catching double-page spreads of numerous toys, building blocks, natural objects, art materials, chalk drawings, valentines, science projects, antique school supplies, puppet theaters, Rube Goldberg-type contraptions, and hundreds of tiny doodads are carefully composed and artfully arranged.

The riddles incorporate wordplay, rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration. Solving the riddles by finding the objects is a fun challenge that encourages observation and enhances visual discrimination. Extra-credit riddles are included, and the detailed illustrations provide endless possibilities for making up your own riddles, rhymes, and games.

With its unique content, I Spy School Days is one of those rare treasures that will please kids, parents, and teachers alike. I also recommend these other books in the series: I Spy (the original book of picture riddles), I Spy Christmas, I Spy Fun House, I Spy Mystery, I Spy Fantasy, I Spy Spooky Night, and I Spy Treasure Hunt.

(I Spy Super Challenger and Gold Challenger contain illustrations from previous I Spy books, with more difficult riddles.)

I SPY SCHOOL DAYS CD-ROM, by Scholastic.

This digital version of the book expands on the rhyming riddle/hidden object format by offering additional technologically-unique learning opportunities. For example, sometimes objects have to be moved in order to find the sought-after item, or a dot-to-dot activity needs to be completed to reveal a hidden object. The graphics are photographs of familiar items, most with a “school days” theme, and the package accurately depicts the product.

The program contains: Oops Hoops (Venn diagrams disguised as Hula hoops), Nature, Chalkboard, Balloon Popper (chain reactions), Wood Block City, Codebreaker, Craft Projects, Find Me Riddle, and Make Your Own I Spy (kids can create I Spy pages to challenge friends and family).

I Spy requires children ages 5-9 to use their brains while having fun at the same time. Skill areas include: reading, vocabulary, rhyming, visual discrimination, word-object association, cause and effect, memory, creativity, logic, problem solving, associative thinking, classifying and sorting. Children compete against themselves without any pressure or time limits, and incomplete treasure hunts are saved so kids can return to them later.


There is also an I Spy Club that you can join at: www.scholastic.com/athomeclubs. It is suitable for grades K-3. Each monthly package includes an I Spy book, an activity, toys to re-create scenes from the book, an I Spy sticker sheet, and a parent newsletter, all for just $14.99 (plus shipping and handling).

This is a good way to acquire the complete set of I Spy books if you don't have them- and receive additional surprises besides! -all for just a few dollars more than the retail price of the books. Unfortunately, however, it's not a good deal for I Spy fans who already have some or all of the I Spy books, because they will send the same ones that you already have.

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