The 1001 Things to Spot series from excellent children’s publisher Usborne is super cool because the pictures are hand drawn and seem more appropriate to a preschool skill level in that they are detailed but not overwhelming. The things to spot are listed both with a word and an image so that Rain can easily see what he’s looking for without having to ask me. Also, it helps gear children up for counting as the number of things they have to find is indicated with a big number beside the picture. At the back of the book, there is always an extra page of bonus items that have to be found somewhere in the book. These are of course harder because they could appear on any page. There is always a lot to talk about on every page and Rain’s imagination is often jump-started by these books. Just today we had to google armadillo images after he spotted one in the 1001 Things to Spot on the Farm book and thought it was a bandaged up calf.
This series appeals to a broad age range and as a result your child will get several years worth of enjoyment out of the 1001 Things to Spot series. At first they might only look at the pictures, or spot one or two items. Eventually, they will be counting on their own and getting more adept at finding the more difficult items. The books appeal equally to my 4 year old son and to my 7 year old niece.
I would suggest trying a couple out from the library to find your favourite. We found some had pictures that were a bit too simple or boring, while others were really delightful. Our favourites so far are 1001 Pirate Things to Spot and 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea. I’m also looking forward to checking out 1001 Things to Spot in the Town.
UPDATE: This afternoon we got 1001 Things to Spot on the Farm in our Scholastic Book order. This one was better than I expected including pages about harvest, orchards, green houses, stables, ranches and even rice fields. And bestill my AP heart, we had to find 5 babies in slings on the rice field page.