Review Blog

Jun 04 2012

The Word Spy, an activity book by Ursula Dubosarsky

cover image

Illustrated by Tohby Riddle. Puffin Books, 2012. ISBN: 978014 306139.
The Word Spy, an Activity Book, by Ursula Dubosarsky, is absolutely delightful.I found myself tempted to do the activities in a book that just begs to be read and 'dealt with'. Dubosarsky has created a colourful book that looks interesting from the cover alone and Tohby Riddle's illustrations support this vibrant book.
Following a quirkily illustrated page of James Joyce's dedication to his own work about embedded riddles that will keep 'professors busy', we turn the page to find an address to 'Word Spies' that resembles an old buried treasure map. With many silhouettes of sleuths in many disguise and postures, wearing mackintoshes, or shining torches into dark holes, one page with an old, metal doorway that begs to be opened, or black question marks holding up hot-air balloons, this book promises fun.
There are Magic Doorways, chapters promising Words and Pictures, Word Games with Letters and Numbers, and many others. It is, itself, a treasure chest. Dubosarsky includes Hints before you start, and this is interesting too! She closes this wonderful book with the The Final Doorway, a maze map, and even more, a certificate to be filled out on completion, and very useful blank note pages for working out the puzzles.
This is an out-of-the-ordinary book for young thinkers, and I'm sure that many parents, or grandparents, would be delighted to spend some special time working on the puzzles.
Liz Bondar

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