Puzzle books, including the Where’s Waldo and I Spy series, are popular for all ages. (Pixabay)

COLUMN: Search and find books still popular at the library

Where’s Waldo and other picture puzzle books provide entertainment for all ages

Have you been thinking of ways to keep your mind distracted lately?

With so much happening in the world, it’s nice to be able to just sit quietly for a while with a good book.

Sometimes you also need to inject a little bit of fun and games into what you are reading and that is where puzzle books come in handy.

Remember the Where’s Waldo? Search and find books from the late 1980s? The main character is a worldwide traveler who tends to get lost in big crowds and needs you to help find him and all the hiking gear he dropped along the way.

Each detailed crowd scene of illustrations from author Martin Handford would take him about eight weeks to complete. The red and white striped shirt, pom pom hat and glasses are Waldo’s signature outfit, and all these years later can still be seen replicated as costumes for Halloween.

Where’s Waldo: In Hollywood, Double Trouble at the Museum plus many more Waldo books are available to check out at the library.

Start looking for him and you won’t stop until you find him. It’s addicting.

I Spy books are another entertaining way to pass the time for people of all ages. Colourful pictures chock-a-block full of hidden objects to find while solving a rhyming riddle.

I Spy author Jean Marzollo teamed up with photographer Walter Wick to create optical illusions full of intrigue and wonder. I Spy: A to Z, Treasure Hunt and Super Challenger are just a few of the titles you can borrow.

There are many new and popular books with the search and find theme. Scholastic’s These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For is a Lego and Star Wars combo that has you hunt for a droid assassin. C3PO and R2D2 are in trouble, and you might be their only hope of rescue.

Where’s the Unicorn Now, by Sophie Schrey, will have you searching the page for the seven unicorns of Rainbow Valley who are on tour to meet their superfans around the world, from Broadway to Brazil.

Can it get any unicorn-ier?

If you prefer a more grown-up version of a puzzle book, perhaps tricks of the eye might suit you better.

Masters of Deception: Escher, Dali and the Artists of Optical Illusion by Al Seckel is a work of genius. You can spend hours admiring the artwork and your brain will get a workout in the process. “Butterflies will transform right before your eyes into two warriors with their horses, and rings of seahorses seem to rotate on the page.”

It should come as no surprise that many of the artists in this book have mathematical backgrounds. If seeing is believing then you won’t believe your eyes.

Visit the library and take home some of these puzzle books.

Have fun playing I Spy or finding Waldo in a crowd. If you look at the crowd closely, you might even see a dog named Woof, but never more than his tail.

Caroline McKay is the community librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

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