I’m super excited to share three of my favorite spotting books full of fun, quirky, imagination-catching detail!
Around the World in 80 Puzzles by Aleksandra Artymowska (Big Picture Press; ages 7-9)
This is an oversized, hardcover book filled with 80 clever, intricate, and beautifully illustrated puzzles, each of which spread over two full pages. The illustrations and associated challenges are each unique, but all require focus and attention to detail. Challenges include things like spotting minor differences, counting, solving mazes, and processing spatial relationships. Each puzzle comes with two challenges, one more difficult than the other. An answer key is included in the back as well as a special note to readers about the book’s inspiration (Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne) and one final challenge. Overall, it’s a visual and intellectual delight that will captivate readers for hours!
Look for Ladybug in Plant City by Katherina Manolessou (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books; ages 4-8)
Daisy is pursuing her lost pet ladybug with the assistance of Plant City’s best detective, Basil. Their search takes them through 10 different locations in Plant City (such as Big Bones Primary School, The Museum, The Cave Concert), each of which is concealing Daisy’s sneaky Ladybug within its varied animal citizenry and dozens of delightful details. Each location also has someone sleeping, someone crying, five gray mice, and five bees. As Daisy and Basil explore the city, they find 3 unique sights in each location; written in capital letters, readers are tasked with finding these as well. A humorous ending to the hunt for Ladybug and answer key close the book. Each illustration is a fun world unto itself so full of detail that I could easily lose track of time pouring over the images even without being tasked to find anything in particular. My kids love exploring the art, and the variety of spotting tasks keep them busy each time we pick it up.
From one direction, this is a book about spotting Big Meow — a sneaky, color-changing cat. From the other, this is a book about spotting Little Woof — an adorable, color-changing dog. In the middle are 10 brightly colored, quirky, and sometimes surreal illustrations concealing both Big Meow and Little Woof within a collection of inventive cats and dogs. Each illustration portrays a unique setting (such as dog salon, ceramic studio, underwater laboratory) that lends itself to imaginative and fantastical scenes full of entertaining detail. Limited palettes and shifting color schemes keep readers on their toes as they try to spot Big Meow and Little Woof by their other characteristics. Overall, it’s a wonderfully fun and challenging spotting book from front to back and then again from back to front!