If your kids love to play hide-and-seek or read the “I Spy” series, Scholastic has a book series for you! The “Can You See What I See?” series includes the book, Toyland Express, is perfect for this time of year. It is filled with colorful pictures including a multitude of things to seek and find on each page. There are hints in story form on each page, but finding things not on the list is fun, too.
My three children vary greatly in age (10 to 1.5), but each of them LOVE this book. The littlest carries it around and asks to read it repeatedly. My 5-year-old loves being able to “read” a book without reading. My oldest loves to help her brothers find the pictures on each page, but says that some of the pictures are a challenge even for her. I love it because it is interactive. My children and I can work together to find specific items on each page. This book is perfect for in the car, during church, bedtime or anytime when you want your kids to quietly explore its pages. (That is except for the excited “I FOUND IT!” that gets yelled after eagerly searching for something for awhile!)
Here is a one-page example:
Each page is brightly colored and filled with rich detail. The scenes vary from those that might be very familiar to a child to those that might only have been conceived in their imagination or are completely new to them. I love the continuity of the train in each scene and the variation of finding new items in new settings on each page. The book is large and engaging enough to occupy three children simultaneously (at least at my house!). You may not realize it on your initial reading of the book, but the pictures tell the story of a lifecycle of the Toyland Express train as it begins in the factory, is loved, used and played with and eventually ends up in the attic. However, the story does not end there. I won’t ruin it by sharing the ending. You will have to check it out for yourself.
If you like what you see, you will be encouraged to find out that this book is only one in a series which includes “On a Scary, Scary Night”,” Night Before Christmas”, “Once Upon a Tim”, “Cool Collections”,” Dream Machine”, and the original “Can You See What I See?”. All are written and photographed by a man named Walter Wick. He has created all kinds of photographic exploration extravaganzas including those for Scholastic’s ”I Spy” series and “Can You See What I See?” series. Scholastic has even created a short video showing the behind-the-scenes story of Toyland Express. It gives insight into how the idea came into being and eventually became the book. Plus, it gives the reader one more set of details to watch for as they explore! If you like Walter Wick’s work, you can follow him on Facebook to keep up with his projects. He is an amazing artist!
Toyland Express and the other books in the “Can You See What I See?” series are available at most major book retailers including Amazon.com and Barnes & ‘Noble for $13.99 or less. Add it to your Christmas list and enjoy!
BUY IT! Toyland Express and the other books in the “Can You See What I See?” series are available at most major book retailers including Amazon.com and Barnes & ‘Noble for $13.99 or less. Add it to your Christmas list and enjoy!
WIN! THREE readers will each win their own copy of Toyland Express!
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