I Spy Read-Alikes

Northeast LibraryRead FeedStaff Picks

I Spy Read-Alikes

Riddles, rhymes, and puzzles, oh my!

I spy with my little eye… an awesome group of books! The I Spy series is the much-loved classic by Jean Marzollo that compels younger readers to pour over detailed photographs to find objects in riddles and rhymes. And while the library has many I Spy books to fit your fancy, if you want to challenge your scavenger skills try these read-alikes.

The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book by Britta Teckentrup
Preschoolers through early elementary will enjoy finding hidden surprises on the brightly colored pages of this book. Each spread tests readers’ ability to spot the difference amongst the pattern. Readers will find this a great way to practice those early math skills of similarities and differences.

I Spy series by Edward Gibbs Edwards
Gibbs' series of I Spy books encourages young toddlers and up to yell out the animals and their sounds they recognize. A fun die cut hole on each page gives readers a glimpse of what’s next. At the end of each book, young ones are asked, "What can you spy with your little eye?" This last line is a perfect way to nurture that early science practice of using your senses to observe the world around you.

Spot 7 series by KidsLabel 
If your favorite I Spy is checked out, Spot 7 is the next best thing. Readers try to find seven differences between almost identical photographs. But readers beware! The temptation to mark up these books is strong! Try a mini Post it flag to help preserve these books for the next reader.

Can You See What I See series by Walter Wick
Walter Wick, the photographer from the I Spy series, continues the picture puzzle fun in this series. If you are as curious as I was about how Wick’s photographs come to life, watch this video. Want an extra challenge? Try to find a robot creature named “Seymour” hidden on each page. 

Look-alikes Around the World by Joan Steiner
Explore the globe in this collection of photographs that traverse the planet. Each photograph uses unique elements – such as food, toys, instruments, and clothes to replicate real life places. For example, the sculpture on the front page uses flutes, onions, shoes, brussels sprouts and Hersey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme bars to recreate a miniature Taj Mahal!

Everything Goes series by Brian Briggs
Briggs’ cartoonish illustrations are jam packed with transportation visual delights. These books are good choices for younger I Spy readers who are enthralled with the comprehensive nature of the I Spy themes. This is the perfect read for the preschool aged transportation nut in your household!

Follow the Line series by Laura Ljungkvist
The title says it all – follow one clean and simple line through Ljungkvist’s books to discover a world of interesting environments and settings. Along the way, these books ask the reader to count and find patterns.

Where’s Waldo series by Martin Handford
Who could forget Waldo - or, as the original English series of books called him, Wally? Once you’ve mastered the I Spy world try and not be fooled by the gagillion Waldo look-alikes taking up every inch of the page.

Riddle Road: Puzzles in Poems and Pictures by Elizabeth Spires; illustrated by Erik Blegvad
More great brainteasers await you when you pick this book of visual and written puzzles. Riddles range from finding everyday objects to more challenging abstract ideas. This is a good choice for older solo readers in early elementary school but also makes for an engaging read out loud for caregiver and child. 

Animalia by Graeme Base

Animalia is an alliterative alphabet book of twenty-six illustrations, one for each letter of the alphabet. Readers' vocabulary will blossom as they search each page for such rich things as "ingenuous iguanas improvising an intricate impromptu on impossibly impractical instruments." This big book is sure not to disappoint.