“Can You See What I See? Night before Christmas”
Picture Puzzles to search and solve
Written and Illustrated by Walter Wick.
Published by Scholastic Inc.
Age: All ages..…..It’s True!
Theme/Topic: Christmas Time, the best time of the year.
Synopsis: The world of children’s literature presents unique challenges to the photographic illustrator. Wondrous events like those depicted in Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem originally titled ‘A Visit from Saint Nicholas” are not readily available to even the most resourceful photographer, and re-enacting such events is not without its difficulties, since reindeer are generally unaccustomed to taking direction from anyone, with the exception, perhaps, of Saint Nicholas himself. And as to the availability of the “jolly old elf,” well, let’s just say he’s a very busy man.
Given the inherent limitations of this reality-based medium, the author decided to adapt the time-honoured classic, now known as “The Night Before Christmas,” as a search-and-find game using photographs of Christmas decorations both old and new; Christmas cookies, candies, and other treats; handmade props and sets; and of course, a mountain of toys. All real objects, but alas, no real reindeer…..
Activities: The beautifully pictured book is itself a delightful activity, when one is left trying to find all the images hidden in these luxurious photos. For each page there is a list (with reference line to the poem), of what there is to find in that particular picture. Combine with the fun of finding such delightful treasures is the learning to count. A wonderful way to help children learn, at such a festive time. In both the front and back of the book is the quaint poem.
Walter Wicks website is also an adventurous place for both young and old alike, to find answers and questions to how he constructed the scenes for many of his photos as well as helping you find the hidden gems you could not find yourself. On his website are links to resources and teacher aids, puzzles, games, videos and more information, through Scholastic Inc, Writer’s Digest, Public Libraries and the SCBWI. He is even having an exhibition of his art and models used from January 28th 2012 – April 22nd 2012 at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich CT06830.
Why I liked this book: The beautiful rich colours of the photos are amazing, almost pop out at you, no wonder I have not given it to anyone.
Walter Wick is also the creator of the “I Spy” books and as I wandered through his website I found it full of amazing information, even a series for the very young called “Seymour series” and how creative one can be to make these pictures look so real, it would have any kid hooked for hours. Yes and I mean, even the BIG kids. How I would love to dabble in his workshop. Actually he’s kind of a “Saint Nick” himself.
For more books with resources please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Picture Perfect Book
It is certainly fun to find a book that will entertain truly every age group. This looks like the sort of book that would happily come out of storage every year, along with the Christmas tree lights and decorations, Diane!
You are right Joanna, I didn’t realise I had this book until I pulled out the lights for our Christmas tree and there it was. I thought instantly of doing a review on it. You will love Wicks website and the one he is connected to at Scholastic, has even a magnifying glass to use.
Enjoyed your picture book entry. This looks like a winner and one that will keep kids busy. Lovethe beautiful cover. It has that traditional Christmas look — warm and cozy inside. Nice review Diane.
Thankyou Pat. All the pictures inside are glorious, I was tempted to take photos and post more. I love this look, main reason I haven’t given it to anyone, instead kept it.
oh, I know I would have fun with this book! If I had kids around, they’d be saying, “But when do *I* get a turn?”
LOL… Yep even the BIG kids It certainly is a beautiful book and I know you would love it. Visit Wicks Website, you will enjoy it. Thanks for your comment Beth.
Ooh! My kids and I all love these kind of books where there are tons of things to look for! We used to read all the I Spy books. It’s funny, Pat also posted a Christmas search-and-find type of book this week 🙂 What a great choice!
You and your kids certainly would love this book and also Wicks Website. It was funny, after reading about his I Spy books and how he made them, and then seeing Pats post and your comment. Great minds think alike!
What a fun book. Yes. It sounds like it can work for all ages. We aren’t into the I Spy books yet at our house, but this Christmas book could be an introduction.
Hi Stacy, yes it’s the kind of book you could pull out every year and the kids would be so busy pouring over it while you prepare for that Christmas feast. It’s warm and magical for the very young to the err….. yes!
Nevermind the kids, that sounds like a book I’d love to read 🙂
LOL… you would love it Catherine, it’s beautiful. Have a look at Wicks Website you will find yourself spending some time there, especially the Scholastic site. Glad you liked this.