10 Best I Spy Books for Kids

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Do your kids love the award winning I Spy books by author Jean Marzollo with photographs by Walter Wick from Scholastic? These classics search and find children’s books, along with other good seek and find books will help children with visual discrimination and vocabulary.

Not only that but I Spy books are FANTASTIC for problem-solving, visual discrimination, building vocabulary, and persistence. Plus, rhyming riddles and non-rhyming riddles help kids with inference skills.

If you like picture riddles, you’ll loves these best I Spy books! And I’ll show you how to make an I Spy book of your own.  Making an I Spy book is a fun art and writing activity.

Read I Spy books before you start making your own book so that you have good examples that will get your creative juices flowing.

What age are I Spy Books for?

All ages but especially ages 4 to 8! You can find I Spy board books for toddlers and preschoolers and picture books for preschoolers and elementary-age students.

What does I Spy mean?

It’s searching for something that you can spot with your eyes.

How do you play I Spy game?

One player gives clues starting with “I spy with my little eye…” and says the clue. The other players ask yes and no questions and then make guesses. (Is it blue? Is it my shirt?)

Is I Spy a literacy game?

100%! It’s a great way to practice thinking skills, observation, colors, vocabulary, and cooperation, all of which are foundational for litearcy.

The Best I Spy Books

I Spy Numbers by Jean Marzollo
ages 2 – 5
Help your preschooler identify numbers with this exciting search and find board book all about counting and numbers. We highly recommend it.

Seek and Find Puzzle Books
Treasure Hunt for Kids by Roger Priddy
ages 2 – 5
Develop counting and sorting skills while searching for the hundreds of hidden things in the busy, colorful scenes packed with multiple images and objects to seek and find.

search and find books for kids
Highlights Hidden Pictures Sticker Book 
ages 4 – 8
Younger learners use stickers to find hidden objects. It’s so fun! My kids always preferred the sticker hidden picture books to the color books.

I Spy Books
Around the World A Can You Find It Book
by Sarah L. Schuette
ages 4 – 8
Similar to other books with amazing full-color photographs of objects, search in the photographs to find the hidden objects.

I Spy Books about school -- picture riddle children's books
I Spy School Days
by Jean Marzollo, photos by Walter Wick
ages 4 – 8
Read the rhyming poem. 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
ages 2 – 5
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!

I Spy Extreme Challenger by Jean Marzollo, photos by Walter Wick
ages 6 – 10
Each double-page spread contains a riddle puzzle for kids to search and find. But, it’s tricky! You’ll have to read the clues and find tiny visual details! “I spy an airplane, a face with no hands, a chicken, a cherry, and six rubber bands.”

I Spy Books -- I Spy Fantasy
I Spy Fantasy by Jean Marzollo, photos by Walter Wick
ages 4 – 8
In a block city or in a cloud city, search for little items like a train, a clock, a duck, two fish, and more little objects.

Where’s the Princess? And Other Fairy Tale Searches
 by Chuck Whelon
ages 5 – 8
Start with Little Red Riding hood and continue on to Pinocchio, each two-page spread asks you to search and find fairy tale items in the cheerful illustrations.

 Seek and Find Puzzle Books
LEGO Star Wars: These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For by Ameet Studio
ages 5 – 12
If your kids like LEGO and Star Wars, they’ll love this fun activity book where you’ll be tasked to find your favorite LEGO heroes and villains from the Star Wars movies.



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 colors, so the theme of the color blue and the color purple.


  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
I Spy Books plus DIY directions

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