The Best I Spy Books (+ How to Make Your Own!)

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Make Your Own I Spy BookDo your kids love the I Spy books by author Jean Marzollo with Walter Wick’s fabulous photographs from Scholastic? These classics along with other I Spy books help children with visual discrimination and vocabulary.

In fact, I Spy books are FANTASTIC for problem-solving, visual discrimination, building vocabulary, and persistence. Plus, the rhyming riddles and non-rhyming riddles help kids with inference skills.

Here you’ll find the best reading choices plus directions for making your own book!

Making an I Spy book is a fun art and writing activity.

Also, it’s helpful to read I Spy books before you start making your own book so you have examples that will get creative juices flowing.

The Best I Spy Books

I Spy Numbers by Jean Marzollo
Help your preschooler identify numbers with this exciting search and find book all about counting and numbers. We highly recommend it.

Around the World A Can You Find It Book
by Sarah L. Schuette
Similar to other books with amazing full-color photographs of objects, search in the photographs to find the hidden objects.

I Spy School Days
by Jean Marzollo, photos by Walter Wick
Read the rhyming poem then look at the accompanying full-color photo filled with everyday objects to find the items listed. Perfect for young children who are beginning school.

I Spy Animals
by Jean Marzollo, photos by Walter Wick
Riddles and photographs in this board book help the youngest readers like toddlers and preschoolers to search through 13 interactive spreads to find little animals. What a fun treasure hunt!



Make Your Own I Spy Book

To make your own I Spy books, you’ll need these materials:

  • camera or camera on a phone
  • items from your house that relate to a theme (colors, numbers, animals, foods, etc.)
  • a computer

We choose to make I Spy pages with the theme of colors.


  1. Get the objects around your theme.
  2. Then, arrange the objects close together on a solid background. (We used a blanket.)
  3. In the I Spy books by Jean Marzollo, the photographer, Walter Wick, uses light and shadows when he arranges the photos. If you want to try to add shadows, add a lamp to one side of your items.Make Your Own I Spy Book
  4. Close-up shots are best. Help your kids see this by asking them to take several photos.Make Your Own I Spy Book
  5. Next, you’ll want to download your photos onto your computer!
  6. Now, you can make your book.
  7. Insert the photos into a Word or Pages document.
  8. Underneath the photo, write a list of what readers need to find.Make Your Own I Spy Book
  9. Advanced: Take a screenshot of your Word document. Add arrows from the words to the answers to make an answer key.Make Your Own I Spy Book
  10. Finally, put all the pages into plastic covers and a three-ring binder.
  11. Read and solve your own I Spy book!
    Make Your Own I Spy Book


Make your own I spy book

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2 Responses

  1. Erik AKA This Kid Reviews Books says:

    I love this idea! I will try it!!

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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