WICK, Walter. Can You See What I See?: The Night Before Christmas: Picture Puzzles to Search and Solve. illus. by author. 35p. with CD. CIP. Scholastic/Cartwheel. Oct. 2005. Tr $13.99. ISBN 0-439-76927-2. LC 2005005644.
K-Gr 2Wick's familiar “I Spy” formularhymed text that lists objects in juxtaposed double-page illustrations, with the invitation for viewers to locate those objectsis here tied loosely to the Clement Moore poem. The poem itself is printed on the endpapers and is not referred to further except in short phrases such as “All Snug” as headings for the photographs of Christmas decorations, cookies, candies, and toys. Libraries owning copies of Wick and Jean Marzollo's I Spy Christmas (Scholastic, 1992) can skip this one.S. P.
HB Nov/Dec Walter Wick Can You See What I See?: The Night before Christmas: Picture Puzzles to Search and Solve; illus. with photos by the author
40 pp. Cartwheel/Scholastic 10/05 isbn 0-439-76927-2 $13.99
It's not a Christmas miracle, but it's pretty awesome. Wick's captivating color-photo picture-puzzle tableaux illustrate fragments ("such a clatter!"; "new fallen snow") plucked from Clement Clarke Moore's classic "The Night before Christmas," the text of which is reproduced on the book's endpapers. The rhymes accompanying each double-page spread are forgettable ("Can you see / what I see? / A penguin, a pie, / a red candy heart, / 3 little elves, / a bear in a cart"), but the art is up to Wick's usual standards and then some. Each panoramic image -- a toy nook, complete with miniature bedroom ("all snug"); a wallpaper-like assemblage of holiday confections ("visions of sugarplums") -- reveals the most minuscule of details, right down to the last white dot on a nonpareil. nell beram
The co-creator of the "I Spy" series uses a similar format in this holiday offering full of glowing photographs of tiny toys and sweet treats. As in previous volumes, readers can search each spread for the miniature items craftily hidden within, enumerated in rhyming lists in large type next to each photograph. Wick uses phrases from the familiar lines of "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" as an organizational framework for his lush photos of a cozy house on Christmas Eve all decked out for Santa's arrival. (He includes the poem on the endpapers.) Some spreads focus on one area of the house and others on single images from the poem, such as a whirlwind of sugarplums or an open bundle of toys. Eagle-eyed readers will spot additional clever details such as a recurring white dove and the gabled house in a snow globe that duplicates the home featured throughout. This volume covers much of the same holiday territory as I Spy Christmas by Marzollo and Wick (1992), but fans of this sort of picture puzzle will welcome another challenging Christmas brainteaser. (author's note) (Picture book. 3-