Today’s Stack Overflow column continues through my pile of picture books… if we get through all of these, I’ll move on to comics.
My middle daughter really loves hidden pictures, so Where’s Waldo? is a big hit, and so are other books that involved very detailed pictures. Her favorite part of Highlights magazine has always been the hidden pictures section. Here are several picture books that let her get lost in the images.
Where’s Waldo? The Search for Lost Things by Martin Handford
We might as well start with Waldo. He’s been around for ages (chances are you searched for him as a kid yourself), and the Where’s Waldo? series has become synonymous with hidden pictures. This particular book is an activity book filled with word games, Sudoku-style puzzles, drawing pages, spot-the-difference pictures, and more. And, of course, plenty of Waldo and his pals. It’s not brand-new but it’s been a hit.
Another classic is Richard Scarry—I had the Best Word Book Ever when I was first learning to read, and spent many nights peeking at it after bedtime. Well, these oversized Golden Books are still being printed, so your kids can marvel at things like pickle trucks and the ant bus. Each page is filled with things to look at, all helpfully labeled, with a little bit of story that might give you something particular to search for. This particular title is great for kids who love vehicles of all sorts: cars, construction machines, boats, and more.
The Odd One Out by Britta Teckentrup
Each picture in this book is filled with copies of the same thing … and one that’s somehow different. A poem tells you what to look for: the turtle hiding in its shell, the camel with one hump, the tired rhino. Although it seems to be meant for younger kids, both of my older daughters love the artwork, too, and still like to flip through it even though they know where everything is already.
Busy Bunny Days by Britta Teckentrup
Another one by Teckentrup, Busy Bunny Days has a similar art style but much busier pictures, more like Richard Scarry books with a whole bunch of things going on all over the page. Anthropomorphized animals go about their day, and each page has a clock showing the time, a snippet of story, and a few questions about particular characters. What my kids loved the most, though, was the ne’er-do-well Benny Badger, who’s constantly skulking around and scheming. Maybe he’s just misunderstood … no, wait, there he goes stealing somebody’s wallet.
The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000 by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski
I mentioned The World of Mamoko in my Best Books of 2013 list, and here’s another book in the series. This one takes places in the year 3000, so it’s filled with robots and rockets and crazy gadgets. Like the first, the bulk of the book is wordless, but at the front you get an introduction to a bunch of characters, along with questions for you to figure out: Who does Cosmo Fox bump into? What is strange about Otto Flash’s strange new jumper? It’s a book that you’ll “read” over and over as you follow different characters through the activity-filled drawings.
The Bear’s Sea Escape by Benjamin Chaud
Papa Bear and Little Bear take a nap in a department store … but then Little Bear gets picked up by a boy who thinks he’s a stuffed toy. So then Papa Bear goes on a long journey trying to track down Little Bear. The title is a bit misleading—most of the book, in fact, does not take place at sea, and it’s less of an escape as a chase. But there are fun pictures filled with lots of people … and two bears. They’re not always hard to find, but the pictures give you lots to look at as the bears go from city to ship to jungle.
MoshiMoshiKawaii are little pill-shaped bunnies from Japan, and these books are filled with the absurdly cute critters. Each page has a couple of specific moshis to look for, plus a couple other questions you can try to answer. The thing about the moshis is that there are tons of varieties that look pretty similar, so if you’re looking for Strawberry Moshi you want to be sure you don’t get her mixed up with her friends, who are dressed very similarly but have different colored faces or outfits. I’d recommend this one for fans of Japanese hyper-cuteness—others may feel it’s a bit much.
Disclosure: GeekDad received review copies of these books.