'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 19 August 2013

Review: Where's Wally?

It would be hard to find someone who hasn’t casually flipped through a Where’s Wally? book only to find themselves engrossed in trying to find the elusive Wally and his friends.

Do you have a special Where’s Wally? search technique? Do you systematically search, section by section, for Wally, Wenda, Odlaw, Wizard Whitebeard and Woof or do you just randomly scan the pages hoping that you’ll catch sight of a beard or tail or arm that might give away their hiding place? Do you search on your own, or do you like it to be a group activity – a Where’s Wally? race?

I was amazed, but not really surprised, to recently discover that each detailed Where’s Wally? illustration takes author/illustrator Martin Handford at least 8 weeks to complete. There is so much more to Where’s Wally? than simply finding the hidden items on each page. Each illustration is full of humour and interesting details that are fascinating even without the need to discover Wally, the other characters and items, and the bonus items listed for each double page spread.

Where’s Wally? was first published in 1987, but the past quarter of a century hasn’t diminished the entertainment value of the series or each individual book. The first book follows Wally on a world wide hike as he travels through a variety of locations including a beach, safari park, fairground, railway station, museum, camp site, department store and more. This is where the legend began.

Where’s Wally? books are the ideal way to while away a few minutes or a few hours. Children and adults of all ages can enjoy the challenge of finding Wally and I have had lots of fun with my own children discovering all sorts of details in the illustrations.

If you don’t have any Where’s Wally? books on your shelves at home, you really should invest in some. Leave them on the coffee table and it won’t take long for someone to start flicking through the pages.

Title: Where's Wally? (Book #1)
Author/Illustrator: Martin Handford
Publisher: Walker Books, $17.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 June 2007
Format: Soft Cover
ISBN: 9781406305890
For ages: 3 - 103
Type: Picture Book, Activity Book