I wrote I SPY FANTASY to honor the imagination of children. I remember a wonderful meeting in March 1993 when Walter Wick, I SPY artist and photographer; Carol Devine Carson, I SPY book designer; and I, the author, met at Scholastic with Grace Maccarone, editor; Bernette Ford, publisher of Cartwheel Books (a Scholastic imprint); and Edie Weinberg, art director, to talk about the 5th I SPY book.
I name these people on purpose to thank them for being there at I SPY’s beginning. So far, we had created I SPY, I SPY CHRISTMAS, I SPY FUN HOUSE, and I SPY MYSTERY.
Now what? Walter had suggested I SPY FANTASY. We loved that idea and brainstormed many good picture ideas at that meeting. During the creation of the book, Walter and I discussed every picture. At one point I faxed him this note: “I really like the concept for the overall book – you play with the things young kids play with—blocks, sand, water, etc.—only you do it better. But the starting point is the same.”
I remember sending Walter a photo of a space station my sons had made when they were young. It featured glass saltshakers filled with colored water—and look! There they are on page 16, directly inspired by kids.