________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 40 . . . . June 23, 2017


I Spy ABC: Totally Crazy Letters!

Ruth Parenting. Photography by Manuela Ancutici.
Richmond Hill, ON: Firefly Books, 2017.
36 pp., paperback, $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-77085-961-6.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4



I Spy 123: Totally Crazy Numbers!

Ulrike Sauerhöfer. Photography by Manuela Ancutici.
Richmond Hill, ON: Firefly Books, 2017.
36 pp., paperback, $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-77085-999-9.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4




Can you see what I see? Ten cats, a fox,
seven letters from the alphabet
and a top that keeps spinning

Mickey Mouse hides three times,
next look for eight vehicles. There is
a hero with his arms stretched up.
Where is the pirate hiding?

If you look carefully
you will find the astronaut.
Do you see Cinderella's shoe?
Find the nine fish fast. (From
I Spy ABC.)


Can you see what I see?
There are four hidden soccer balls.
But it's much harder to find the
giraffe-patterned rubber ball.

Look for three hearts and a
ball that sticks out its tongue!
Spiderman's face is hiding here
and so is a cute green alien.

A ladybug and two orange bees
Can you find all three?
There are three balls with the
number 3 on them for you to find. (From
I Spy 123.)

Don't be fooled! This pair of books is definitely not meant for the toddler group who are just learning the letters of alphabet or how to count. The key words in the title are I Spy, with the collage letters or numbers just being the vehicles to hold the items that the text directs readers to find. Of course, the brief text does not exhaust all of the items that could be found in each collage, and so when the book has been "read", pairings of adults and children could revisit each page and create their own "I Spy" scenarios.

      In the alphabet book, each letter gets its own page, and the same is true of the number book until 10 is reached, and then the double digit numbers through 20 are treated via spreads. The visuals in both books are absolutely stunning. According to promotional materials, Manuela Ancutici "searched flea markets, took apart old typewriters, bought pounds of candy, and managed to acquire an impossible variety of items to build up the letters and numbers." Among the many things used to create the themed letter or number collages are: plastic food items, flowers, seashells, candies, letters of the alphabet, beads, art supplies, toy vehicles, stamps, nesting dolls, marbles, paper money, coins, doll clothing, buttons and cards. In most cases, all of the items in a collage are shades of the same colour, and the letters or numbers are then placed against an appropriately coloured background.

      And for those who just can't find something in a collage, an "answer key" is provided at the back of each book.

      Offering hours of "I spy" fun, both books would make an excellent home or gift purchase, and they belong in school and public libraries as well.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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