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Picture Book Review – Treasure Hunt

 

 

TREASURE HUNT

Written by Stephanie Wildman

Illustrated by Estefania Razo

(Lawley Publishing; $17.99 HC, $10.99 Paperback, Ages 4-8)

 

Treasure Hunt covers English Spanish versions kids in cardboard box

 

 

I remember creating a treasure hunt for my daughter’s birthday party one year. We lived on a cul-de-sac so I scattered clues close by to get the kids out of the house. The look on the children’s faces, as they set off in search of the unknown, made all the effort worthwhile. Now parents can share the excitement with Stephanie Wildman’s latest picture book, Treasure Hunt, illustrated by Estefania Razo. A Spanish language version is also available with a translation by Cecilia Pópulus-Eudave.

When twins Flor and Roberto come home from school, older brother Luis shares an idea that will get his siblings off the sofa and away from technology. A delivery man has left Luis a big cardboard box that will come in handy for Luis’s surprise.

 

Treasure Hunt int1 Flor Roberto Wonder
Interior spread from Treasure Hunt written by Stephanie Wildman and illustrated by Estefania Razo, Lawley Publishing ©2022.

 

Treasure Hunt is a simple story of how fewer high-tech games and more creative play can be rewarding with its promise of rich interaction. Luis proposes a treasure hunt and offers the first clue. “I’m round and hollow. I’m usually trash. I don’t belong in the kitchen, where you will find two of me.”

After combing the kitchen the team of twins heads to the bedroom and then the living to continue searching for clues two and three. At first, the things they find leave them perplexed. Empty toilet paper rolls, yarn, and buttons. But Flor figures it out and I hope your kids will too. Using the empty carton as a stage, the children make puppets with items from the treasure hunt and then put on a puppet show for neighborhood friends.

 

Treasure Hunt int2 Clue1 siblings
Interior spread from Treasure Hunt written by Stephanie Wildman and illustrated by Estefania Razo, Lawley Publishing ©2022.

 

The back matter includes easy instructions from Wildman on how to craft the puppets with adult supervision (for scissors) so everyone can get involved in preparing the puppet show. Families can even use the same clues for their own treasure hunt and seek other puppet-making ideas on the internet. Treasure Hunt provides the perfect activity to occupy and entertain children this summer or anytime. Estefania Razo’s digital art adds a light-hearted quality to the prose. Illustrations depict the siblings’ pleasure and move the story forward as Luis’s treasure hunt leads to an afternoon of sheer delight for everyone.

  • Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

 

BUY THE BOOK

Support independent bookstores by purchasing a copy of Treasure Hunt at the link below.

Treasure Hunt a book by Stephanie Wildman and Estefania Razo (bookshop.org)

Búsqueda del Tesoro, the Spanish language edition is available here.

 

NOTE: The Children’s Book Council named Treasure Hunt as one of six books it featured for inclusion on their 2023 Screen Free Children’s Booklist for #ScreenFreeWeek and #ChildrensBookWeek (May 1-7) last month.

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Go Out and Play, You Say?

Debbie Glade reviews a book that reminds her of her own childhood, way, way back when.

You know you’re dating yourself when you say, “When I was your age, we did not have electronic toys. We went outside and made up games, playing and running around all day long.” Frankly, I thought those days were over until I read Go Out an Play: Favorite Outdoor Games from KaBOOM ($11.95, Candlewick Press, Ages 5 and up). KaBOOM (nonprofit) was created by Darell Hammond with the mission to keep children active and playing, while using their imaginations. What a stellar idea that was and what a big hit KaBoom has been!

Go Out and Play is simple, yet delightful. Page after page, you will find indoor and outdoor tag, hide and seek, ball, team, sidewalk, circle, race and other games to keep your little ones active and busy all day, just like you did when you were a kid. Remember Marco Polo, Mother May I?, Egg and Spoon Race and Red Rover? There are plenty of games like these in the book, plus some new ones your kids will want to try. There’s an intro from Darrell Hammond as well as information in the back of the book about getting and keeping kids active with a call to action.

In this age of sedentary living, computers, iPads and video games, any book, toy or product that encourages kids to get up, get out and play is a winner. There’s nothing like seeing children engaged in old-fashioned good fun, burning up energy and staying fit while having a ball. And perhaps just as wonderful is the fact that these activities don’t cost a dime!

Reading this book reminded me of a sidewalk game with chalk and a ball my older sister and I played for years called Rolly Polly. I remember winning much more often that she did, but she insists I’ve got that all wrong.

Now I’m in the mood for playing Follow the Leader. I’m the leader. Are you in?

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