Finding Hidden Treasures in Kids’ Picture Books

There’s usually way more going on in kids’ picture books than just what the story is about. Many clever illustrators hide little objects and “Easter eggs” in the artwork for young readers to find!

I  used to get a kick out of searching for these concealed gems with my twin sons. It’s become one of our favorite things to do while we read together. They’ll scan the pages like little detectives looking for clues and usually find something.

A great example is those Where’s Waldo? books. Not only do you have to find Waldo in the crowded scenes, but the illustrator, Martin Handford, secretly inserted himself! In the Can You See What I See? series by Walter Wick, the text actually gives clues for the hidden objects on each page like a camouflaged ladybug or a pencil blended into a tree.

We also liked searching for the names of Marc Brown’s children hidden in the Arthur books. It’s become a tradition to try and spot all three kids’ names etched somewhere into the illustrations.

But my favorite was the It’s Easter book by Mercer Mayer who always hid a spider and mouse on every page but in the above book.  There’s a picture of a prize pig on the wall in an early page with a nice 1st place ribbon.

Later in the book they are seated at the Easter table and what’s for dinner?   Ham

You’d think they’d all be vegetarian seeing how in other books they have schoolmates who are pigs. Not sure how the food hierarchy works.

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