I wrote I SPY MYSTERY, the fourth I SPY book, wanting every picture to be a mystery. That was hard. First, Walter and I had to figure out what the mysteries would be. We brainstormed 35 ideas, including "Where does time go?" and "Who ate the Apple Pie?" Neither of those ideas made the final cut.
The 13 final pictures were chosen because they would make the most interesting and mysterious pictures. But in my mind the pictures couldn't just be mysterious. They had to be mysteries. Today, looking at I SPY MYSTERY, reading the titles in the Table of Contents, and reading the riddles, it all looks so simple. But it wasn't.
And that's the thing about writing children's books. They often look simple to write, but they're not. Every word you see represents many others discarded.
One of the coolest features in I SPY MYSTERY is the set of three extra mysteries Walter created for the book. You can find them at the back, after the Extra Credit Riddles.
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
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American Bookseller Pick of the Lists
Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 1993
“Filled with props, the diverse and imaginative "sets" … should inspire kids to invent their own mysteries and rhymes.“