Saturday, 21 April 2018

i-SPY books review for Collins & Michelin - the classic children's boredom buster

i-SPY books have been around for a long time. I remember diligently filling in my copy of i-SPY Butterflies as a child, although I mainly used it for reference as these fact-filled pocket-sized books have big, clear illustrations and concise descriptions. They also have a completist, competitive aspect as you try to tick off as many of the objects or animals as you can, score 1000 points and become a Super-Spotter, earning a badge and certificate.


We've been sent a bundle of 4 of the new i-SPY books  to review - At The Shops, Garden Birds, In The City and with plenty of nostalgia for me, Butterflies And Moths. They're very much the same as they were 40 years ago, with a wealth of information packed into a tiny book.


i-SPY At The Shops is a newer addition and will certainly keep your children occupied during any supermarket visit. Small and easy to hold in one hand, the book starts with an introduction and explanation of how to use the book. It's very straightforward - see it, tick it off!


There is everything from milk to dog biscuits, star anise and brussel sprouts. There isn't only food though, there are all of the other things that a supermarket or shop might have. It's nice to see really modern inclusions such as the now very familiar 'bag for life'.



i-SPY Garden Birds is one that I think we should all have a go at. Again it starts with an explanation of how to use the book and a basic introduction to encouraging birds into your garden and caring for their wellbeing, before the main body of the book and the tickboxes.


There aren't only birds in this book, there are also a few pages with birds foods, bird friends and bird enemies. It's great because even if your child can only spot 3 or 4 birds, they'll still have plenty to tick off.


I see birds outside every day and don't actually know what family of birds they are from, let alone their name. I'll be referring to my spotter's guide and increasing my own knowledge, let alone that of my children!


i-SPY In The City is excellent for an inner-city-dweller, who maybe won't be able to tick off as many animals or birds as a child who lives in the countryside, but it's also great for anyone visiting a big city, with exotic features such as yellow rubbish chutes and traffic cone statues.


Like At The Shops, this is an i-SPY guide that really doesn't take itself too seriously and I can see a lot of fun to be had trying to tick off some of the more outlandish entries.


i-SPY Butterflies And Moths gives a fascinating insight into the huge array of winged creatures in the UK. You won't ever be able to complete the sightings in the book without travelling the length and breadth of the UK and experiencing everything it has to offer, but I don't think that's a bad thing.


As before, this i-SPY book begins with an intrroduction and information about moths and butterflies, then leads into each of the entries. The photos are incredibly clear and bright, descriptions interesting and informative. Just as I remember from my own childhood...


i-SPY Books are fun, they're educational and they are satisfying. There's an excitement to spotting something in your book and ticking it off, and long car journeys are never tedious if you have something to do.


Each i-SPY book has 64 pages and an rrp of only £2.99. There are over 30 different books to please all kinds of spotters, and if you do manage to earn 1000 points, you can also send away for the certificate and badge to celebrate your achievement. Available now at all good book shops, instore and online, including Amazon (*affiliate link).



*Amazon links are affiliate, which means I get a few pence as a thank you if you order through my link, but you don't pay any more. We were sent the i-SPY books to review, and paid for the time taken to write this post. 

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