I-Spy Those Books From The 80’s


I loved these books as a child. I had one that featured Bill Oddie and trees. Not the most fascinating subject but on holiday in the New Forest it was great fun trying to spot the trees and leaves mentioned in the book. It wasn’t until we were going to France on holiday that I realised that they still published these. I bought one A Car Journey Through France for my children. Well, specifically my oldest to try and alleviate some of the boredom during our long trip. There are so many titles for the I-Spy books there is something for everyone. I didn’t realise until I was writing this post that the I-Spy series was first published in 1948. It just shows that a successful format can capture children’s imagination for years afterwards.

We have several titles that are in use and various stages of spotting. They are small enough to put in a handbag and all you need is a pen and you have a ready-made activity with you.

That isn’t all of them!

Amazon currently sell 32 titles! I’m going to purchase I-Spy Creepy Crawlies and I-Spy Aircraft as stocking fillers this year. Both of my children love bug hunts so they can now record what they find and my son is plane obsessed. He spends a lot of time staring skywards as a plane flies overhead.

What do I think?

The most successful titles are the Car Journey, on the Motorway and Something Beginning With. I’ve tried taking the nature titles out on walks but so far they aren’t interested in spotting, they are more interested in running on ahead. I must admit I’ve hidden at the Airport until we next fly abroad just because the nagging of “when are we next going on a plane?” was beginning to get very irritating.

Each book has a series of things to spot, each of which scores a certain number of points. The more you spot, the more points you get. Spot something rare and you’re in the big-time points! There can be an element of competition to this but I don’t recommend it. When I tried that it ended up in a big argument and nobody spotting anything; only sulking.

What are your thoughts?

What do you think of these books? Have you ever used them? They would make awesome gifts and I’ve used them as party bag fillers with a packet of Haribo for something different to the usual plastic tat. For other activity book ideas try theĀ Lego Ideas book.

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