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I SPY Spectacular


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Birthday Parties for Kids

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great ideas for an I SPY
birthday party!

 


 

how we wrote this bookI am very grateful that my sons Dan Marzollo and Dave Marzollo help me with the I SPY books. They did a terrific job on this book written to celebrate I SPY's 20th Anniversary.

Dan and Dave created new, original riddles based on the thousands of objects found in the eight classic I Spy books. They discovered interesting new objects to call for within the traditional I Spy rhythm and rhyme pattern.  “We always try to avoid calling for the same thing twice,” says Dan. “If we have to call for it again, we describe it in a different way.”

“For example," explains Dave, "instead of calling for a fire truck, we might call for something with six wheels or a ladder.  That way we can keep the I Spy game as fresh and fun as the first I Spy book was twenty years ago."

Twenty years ago Dan and Dave were teenagers.  I remember being amazed that they thought I SPY was cool enough to take as a gift to birthday parties.  "You might not think a crowd of teenagers would gather around a children's book, but sure enough with I SPY that's what happened again and again," says Dave.  "Walter Wick's photos amazed everyone, and we all loved playing the game."

I go over Dan and Dave's riddles carefully.  I am very pleased and proud that they understand that even if I SPY appeals to everyone, it is written for kindergartners.  Aiming for kindergarten was natural for me when I wrote the first I SPY book 20 years ago.  (For more information about that book, please click here).  At that time I was editor of Scholastic's kindergarten magazine, Let's Find Out

Kindergartners are excellent at finding concrete, familiar objects, and so are older people. Thus, young and old can play I SPY together, and sometime young kids actually find things before their older siblings, parents and grandparents.

Writing for kindergartners doesn't mean making I SPY easy.  It just means that what you call for is something a kindergartner can understand or easily learn.  For example, in I SPY SPECTACULAR you are asked to find “four yellow tines.”  What’s a tine?  All you need is a fork to explain that word to a child.  Because a "tine" is concrete and familiar, the child now learns an interesting new word.

Beware: one of the hardest things to find in I SPY SPECTACULAR is a nail.  Whether you're a five-year-old, a fifteen-year-old, or a fifty-year-old, you might want to prepare to spend some time on that one.  Hint: when you find it, you'll find that Walter Wick very cleverly hid it right in plain sight.

Good luck!

 

In a typically detail-rich scene, photographed from Wick's meticulously
crafted sets, flowers and potted plants are illuminated through a
rain-washed window ("I spy a shovel, a bottle, a bee, / A nail,
a donkey, a wooden tee"). In a seaside town, a train
ornamented with a golden seahorse arrives at the station,
people ride past on motorbikes, and a sign advertises
a "Lighthouse Benefit Concert." A fine look back at
a beloved series; endnotes offer additional background
about the collaborators. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

No one does "search and find" with more flair than author
Jean Marzollo and illustrator Walter Wick.
Consider I SPY SPECTACULAR -
guaranteed to tickle kids and stump more adults.
LEANNE LANDSMANN

 

 
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