HomeJean Marzollo, author of I SPY







I SPY A to Z Cover


I thank Dan Marzollo, Dave Marzollo, and Scholastic's reading expert Francie Alexander for their help.

This book won an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award!

Gold Book Award



I SPY A to Z Spread

I wrote I SPY A TO Z to help children develop
pre-reading and reading skills as they play I SPY.
The sample pages above show how certain letters
(in this case, "g" and "h") are emphasized in red letters.



Sleeping Baby Photo
© Gina Xavier

Two year old Corrine, of Yorktown, Virginia, falling asleep
with her favorite book, I SPY A TO Z.


Review of I SPY A TO Z

I asked my long-time friend Beth Kolehmainen to tell me truthfully what she thinks of I SPY A TO Z. Beth is a retired Headstart, nursery school, and kindergarten teacher who taught children in New York City, London, Greece and Dubai. She was Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at National Lewis University in Evanston, IL and a lecturer in Early Childhood at Southern Queensland University in Hong Kong. We grew up next door to each other. Here's what she wrote:

I like I SPY A TO Z. I like the design of the generously large book with bright colors that send the child's eye to the pictures. I like the way you put the object after the word. That is a great idea...especially for 3 to 5-year-olds. It is good for getting them to look not only at the photos but also to zero in on words representing something to see. The writing is large enough for the young child to see and touch clearly. This book provides a wonderful "Point and Say" experience for early readers. I also like the red letters. How else would the children know that this is the A page? Kindergartners love to point to words and to letters. They can do other things with the letters, too: they can count the red letters on a page and look through the book to find the letter that starts their name. Having the letters highlighted is a good feature. While some people may worry about introducing phonics when children are too young, I don't consider this book a phonics negative. I SPY A TO Z gives young kids a chance to learn about letters--how they make words and how they all relate to the book. The rhymes are catching and elicit an excited response to problem solving. This book works on many levels.

Beth Kolehmainen and Jean Marzollo blowing bubbles at age 4

Beth and Jean blowing bubbles at age 4.



More Reviews:

Such a fun book with entertaining and interesting pictures - the kids love to pull this book out again and again! I would suggest taking this with you when you know the kids will be sitting around getting antsy and fussy. The best part is, more than one child can
play/read/search at a time.

I Spy A To Z ... will stretch your imagination, expand your vocabulary and teach you tons of stuff your parents probably don’t even know about (and then you can turn around and teach your mom and dad a thing or two!).
As soon as you open this book to the first page, you’ll be on the hunt for hidden baseballs, letters and lots more. I Spy A To Z is also great for all you big brothers and sisters, as well as all the babysitters out there. It’s fun to spend time with a kid who’s younger than you and looks up to you when you can teach him or her how to identify pictures he or she is probably already familiar with, as well as learn about some new objects along the way. The only downside of this book, as we see it, is once you pick it up you’ll likely stay up way past your bedtime searching out all the hidden objects among the pages. Now that’s what we call a great reason to stay up late! KIDZWORLD


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