There are several ‘things to find’ children’s books on the market. These types of activity puzzle books can help promote language learning and develop reading skills. They also make books fun for all ages.

The most famous character, to be hidden in a book, is the little figure with a woolly red and white striped hat and glasses. He is called Wally in the UK, known as Waldo in America and Walter in Germany. The French call him Charlie and in Norway he is known as Willy … While his name may change from place to place, the appeal of this small figure with glasses stays the same. Where’s Wally has sold more than 58 million books worldwide since the earliest version was first published in 1987.

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The British writer Martin Handford created Wally over 25 years ago. Today Wally is still as popular as ever. Following Art College, Handford worked as a freelance illustrator specialising in drawing crowds. One day he added Wally to one of his scenes, on a whim, thinking he might be fun to find. Et voilà, Where’s Wally was born. He describes the Wally books as a mixture of activity and entertainment. His most famous pictures include scenes in Ancient Rome, Egypt, the Stone Age and in Outer Space, as well as his adventures in the modern day. The act of searching for Wally can keep small (and big!) children busy for hours.

‘Things to find’ books for language learning.

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The popular Usborne publishers have also embraced the idea of finding items and characters in a book. Their themed ‘things to spot’ books are just as fun as Where’s Wally, with the added dimension of having words next to the items in question. The whole Usborne range of ‘things to find’ books help develop different skills. Designed for the 5 years upwards child, these books can assist with language learning and counting for monolingual and bilingual children.

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For younger children the Very first book of things to spot by Usborne has simple, bright illustrations and lots to find on each page. This is perfect for smaller children (bilingual or monolingual) to help them learn new words and develop important pre-reading skills. It can send the important signal to children that reading is fun as the adult joins in the race to find the item first.

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Does your child have a favourite ‘things to find’ book to help her language learning?

Originally posted 2015-03-26 07:00:44.