Who knew that skinny, bespectacled Waldo would enjoy a Massachusetts summer vacation as much as the First Family? And like President Obama, he’s not always easy to spot. Starting at the beginning of August, Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth has been sponsoring a contest for kids to find Waldo at nearby Main Street businesses. For every four that they visit and pick up an “I found Waldo at...” card, they get a small prize. If they visit 16 or more of the 20 participating stores, they receive a free Waldo book. Their names are automatically entered into a drawing to be held at Eight Cousins at the end of August for a special prize.

Owner Carol Chittenden says that she knew the contest was a success when 19 kids had found 16 to 20 Waldos in the first five days. As of today, that count is closer to 100 winners, and at least 500 children have been out hunting a favorite storybook character.

“It really drives traffic into all the participating businesses,” says Chittenden, who has had customers tell her, “I’m going to tell my Chamber of Commerce about this when I get home.” Local businesses are so pleased that they’re already asking Chittenden if she can do it again during the holiday season.