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I Spy With My Little Eye Baseball Review by April Elstrom and Karen Yuen

Photographs by David Milne; text by Brad Herzog
Sleeping Bear Press
315 East Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

My children and I love search-and-find puzzle books. We enjoy sitting together and exploring the illustrations for hidden objects. I Spy With My Little Eye Baseball is a unique visual puzzle book. Instead of searching for hidden objects, the reader searches for differences between two photographs.

David Milne has created 14 challenging visual puzzles from his own engaging baseball photographs and collages. The rhyming text by David Milne includes clues about how many differences there are and even a few specific changes to look for. Photo Facts are sprinkled throughout the book, with information about the history of baseball and its players. The photographic puzzles help train the reader to focus on details and develop thinking skills. The book has a nice mix of puzzle difficulty, with a range of 15 to 41 changes to discover in the photographs.

This is an addictive book. Anyone who sets out to solve a puzzle is drawn into the book, and can easily lose half an hour (or more) searching and counting. My 10-year-old son was especially drawn to the sports theme, but we all found the puzzles to be an irresistible challenge. Even as I write this review, I have to keep dragging myself back from my own puzzle-solving to actually write.

I can't find anything objectionable in this book, and I believe that any family with children who love sports or visual puzzles would enjoy I Spy With My Little Eye Baseball. It is a quality hardbound book with colorful photographs. I think this would make an excellent book for long car rides, if your child doesn't struggle with car sickness. Staring at the photographs for too long gives me a headache, and I can only imagine it might be magnified if I were riding in a car.

The book declares that it is "fun for all ages," and I definitely agree! However, children between 2 nd and 7 th grade might enjoy the photographic puzzles the most. It's a great gift idea and should provide hours of problem-solving fun!

Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2011

Another review:

Just after our young children attended their very first professional baseball game, we read this wonderful book together! I Spy with My Little Eye Baseball is a large-format, hardbound book with lots of fun and interesting information about everything related to baseball. Each two-page spread has what look like identical photographs, but upon further inspection, you see that there are numerous differences. To make searching for differences between each set of photographs even more fun and challenging, the author includes a notation on the page of the number of differences in each photo set. So kids feel like they've really accomplished a feat when they find all the differences!

The book is written ingeniously in a way that engages a wide range of ages--from toddlers all the way through older elementary kids. Each page includes a portion of a simple poem that continues throughout the book to weave all the pictures into a baseball story perfect for engaging young children. In addition, for older children, each page also includes photo facts that detail really interesting baseball information many children wouldn't know. For example, do you know the history of the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Company? Do you know the differences between a baseball mitt and glove? Do you know why baseball players wear batting gloves and when they started doing so? Do you know how much a major league baseball weighs and what it's made of? Do you know which baseball trading card is the most valuable? Do you know how modern-day mascots got their start at baseball games? Now we do! And you can too when you read this engaging and delightful book!

Product review by Karen Yuen, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2011