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Review: I Spy with My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs

I Spy with My Little Eye
By Edward Gibbs

Templar Books (Candlewick Press)

ISBN: 9780763652845
Grades PreK-1
In Stores

*Best New Book*
*2011 Cybils Nominee*

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

When form meets function, it’s a beautiful thing. This can be tricky with books that feature die cuts. We’ve all seen books where the book would have been just as successful sans cut-outs. Not so with the beautiful I Spy with My Little Eye. I’d hazard to say that this book couldn’t exist in any other form. A simple concept, joyfully executed.

Who doesn’t enjoy a rousing game of I Spy? This is the book form of that classic childhood diversion. The story opens with a black eye looking out of a round spy hole. The opposite page provides clues.

I spy with my little eye…

something that is blue.

I am the biggest animal in the whole world.

When the page is turned, a blue whale is revealed. The rest of the book follows this format as readers encounter an elephant, polar bear, lion, orangutan, and fox before concluding with a big green frog.

The beauty of I Spy is in the format and execution. Die cuts provide hints of what’s to come without giving away the mystery. When a page is turned, the illustration matches up with the eye from the previous page.

The loose digital illustrations come alive atop simple backgrounds. The perspective is kept tight to the subjects, as the various animals fill the pages with vivid color.

This is a book for the masses to enjoy. And they will – watch this circulate like mad. A delight.

Review copy from the publisher.

Visit the Edward Gibbs website.

Also reviewed by Waking Brain Cells, Hi Miss Julie!, Kiss the Book.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.