Off the Shelf: Ode to Waldo

I was a sucker for “I Spy” books when I was a kid. Not just the iconic and spectacular Scholastic series — any seek-and-find book. That’s probably why Waldo won me over so completely.

Where is he? Where is his cane? Glasses? Hat? His pup Woof? His gal pal Wanda? The dastardly Odlaw?

I spent many an hour ruining my eyesight trying to spot Waldo and the other items on the checklists in the back of the book. A fish catching men. A spiky crash. A thirsty lion. A snaky tickle. Four shy ladies being flattered. Prankish target practice. It’s easy to see why my juvenile mind delighted in the hilarity of it all. Oh, sheesh — I still do.

Sadly, I do not know what became of my childhood “Where’s Waldo?” books. So, when I saw Book Three at Costco a few years ago, I nabbed it.

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Let’s take a walk with Waldo down memory lane, shall we?

Keep your eye out for Waldo and his friends.

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The silly scenes and characters are what make the Waldo books so great.

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Even just the funny faces are enough.

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Snakes and ladders anyone?

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There’s always some kind of silly romance going on, too.

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My little mind loved how things like “swordfish” were taken literally.

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And how even scary things like vampires and witches and werewolves appeared cute and cuddly.

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I also like how intangible things are made tangible, like these flying musical notes.

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And how role reversals make normal situations funny. Like fish hunting for divers.

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Some of the funniest scenes are those with dramatic irony, where the characters can only see a limited portion of the scene, but the reader sees everything.

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There’s always so much going on, even in just a small corner of the page. Like here.

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Remember, no matter how impossible it may seem to find him…

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…he’s always there.

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Did you grow up with Waldo, or did your kids introduce you to him?

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2 thoughts on “Off the Shelf: Ode to Waldo

  1. Pingback: Off the Shelf: The Eleventh Hour | Book People Studio

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