“Wow! We cannot tell you what an impact our Where’s Waldo? summer event is having on our community. Parents are happy, kids are ecstatic, shop owners are smiling. What’s not to love?” says Victoria Irwin, events coordinator at Eagle Harbor Book Company in Bainbridge Island, Wash. She’s not alone. Nationwide, 250 booksellers participated in the month-long Find Waldo Local promotion in July, along with 20 or more of their neighboring businesses. And just about everyone has asked Candlewick, the U.S. publisher of Martin Handford’s Waldo books, if they will do it again.
The promotion moved a lot of copies: two Waldo titles are on this week’s national indie children’s bestsellers lists, four are on the New England Independent Booksellers Association bestsellers list, and one is on the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association, and Heartland lists. Not bad for a 25-year-old children’s book character. “What I’m so proud about is the local angle,” says Elise Supovitz, director of field sales for Candlewick. “Booksellers are heroes with their local business alliances. It’s boosting the local economy.”
Read on for an extensive selection of photos from Waldo parades, searches, and parties, from Maine to California.