Written by Stephanie Wildman
Illustrated by Estefania Razo
(Lawley Publishing; $17.99 HC, $10.99 Paperback, Ages 4-8)
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 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.
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
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.