Martin Handford is a genius.

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Don’t recognize the name?  Martin Handford is the creator of the ever-popular Where’s Waldo? series.  These books are fabulous.  If you don’t know about Where’s Waldo?, it is a series of books about a world traveler.  In each two page scene, the reader must find Waldo and a bevy of other items.  In one book you are looking for Waldo, his entourage of friends and his dog.  In another, you are looking for a tiny book Waldo has dropped.  In another, you must find all of Waldo’s equipment that he has lost.  Each scene is meticulously drawn and has thousands of minute details.

The beauty of these books is in the target demographics.  They are great for everyone.  Laura (2) loves to find all the mermaids in the underwater scenes.  Hattie (5) looks for Waldo and moves on.  Abigail (8) wants to find everything on the list of things you are supposed to find.  Robert and I find enjoyment in all of the crazy things Handford has included in the drawing.

It seems that it is getting more and more difficult to find activities that everyone enjoys.  Especially on a rainy day when we can’t go outside.  The chances of all 5 of us wanting to watch the same movie or play the same game together aren’t great.  With 2 of our children unable to read fluently, our options are limited even further.  Where’s Waldo? bridges the gap.  There is no reading required but you still have to use your brain.

I have loved these books since they came out in the early 1990s.  There is also a series of I Spy books that are similar but they lack the story that goes along with Waldo and his travels.  Every time you look at a Waldo book, you will find things you’ve never seen before even if this is the 100th trip through the book.  This is one of the few things that will stay on our shelves as other toys and books come and go.  A rare find indeed!

found it!