There’s a first time for everything. I found that out when I read Can You See What I See? Toyland Express, by Walter Wick, and discovered that a simple puzzle book could actually have an element of suspense.
Can You See What I See? is the delightfully creative story—-or puzzle, in this case, about the life and times of a cheerful little choo-choo train. Like a human life, this train goes through many stages. On the first page, it begins life as a series of unpainted wooden parts in a toy maker’s workshop; on the next, it is painted and placed in a toy store window to entice the neighborhood boys and girls. Then on subsequent pages, it’s unwrapped as a Christmas present, and eventually enjoys it’s toy-full life as the favorite play-thing in a child’s cluttered bedroom.
But also like a human, the little train grows older. As it does, its human playmate loses interest and the train is consigned to a lonely attic with no one to play with. The suspense builds as the poor train is eventually shipped off to a yard sale, but thankfully, a smart buyer sees its value. The buyer repairs it, paints it, and makes it the centerpiece of another child’s exciting world of play.
Isn’t that a wonderful story? But the twist is, the train’s life is actually more of a background story; in the foreground is the challenge of each puzzle page’s demand for the reader to follow directions, pay attention to details, and identify the items and shapes listed on each page.
This wonderful book is the eighth title in the Search-and-Find series of books by Walter Wick. The eye-catching props were actually gleaned from flea markets and toy and antique stores, and then staged and photographed by Walter Wick.
I highly recommend this book for its story value, it’s mind-sharpening activities, and it’s adaptability in a family setting or a one-on-one bonding session.
For a wild ride through the life and times of a colorful choo-choo, be sure to read Can You See What I See? Toyland Express.
Best wishes and happy puzzle-solving,