cover image I Spy Fun House: A Book of Picture Riddles

I Spy Fun House: A Book of Picture Riddles

Jean Marzollo, Walter Wick. Cartwheel Books, $13.99 (33pp) ISBN 978-0-590-46293-8

It's hard to believe that Marzollo and Wick could top their I Spy Christmas , but their latest book of picture riddles is their best yet. Once again, each spread consists of a spectacular color photograph of an even more spectacularly propped 4 8 set, paired with four lines of verse that challenge the reader (``I spy a fish, five clothespins, a rose; / The reflection of an elephant's nose . . .''). Wick's dramatic lighting, his diverse use of shadows and his varied backgrounds set new standards for children's photography books, while Marzollo's seemingly straightforward rhymes are marked by wit and subtlety. The fun-house theme is exploited to grand effect in the scenery choices. Musical instruments and symbols, clown puppets and toys proliferate; and sets incorporating fun-house mirrors, magician's props, dressing room paraphernalia, bandstands and so forth not only create atmosphere but add to the complexity of each puzzle. Bonus for readers beyond the suggested age range: the extra-credit riddles at the end are devilish indeed. Ages 3-8. (Apr.)