Monday, April 15, 2013

I Spy on the Farm

I picked up the book I Spy on the Farm by Edward Gibbs at the Literacy Connection meeting this past Saturday from our favorite local vendor Cover to Cover and fell in love.  I only read the first two pages, closed the book and kept it in my hands.  A friend watched me do this and commented that was quick.  I've gotten very fussy about the books I put in my classroom now that I teach kindergarten.  There are so many wonderful picture books.  We all know picture books however are not always easy to read.  When I find a book with simple print, patterned phrases, interesting illustrations, frequent sight words I must get it.  

I bet everyone reading this post has played the game, I Spy.  This book is just that with language and illustrations in a book format.  We just went to the farm so the topic is more than perfect for my room right now.  On the left side of each two page spread there is a circle with the eyeball of a farm animal and the phrase, "I spy with my little eye..."  On the right side of the two page spread is a cut away circle shaded the color of the animal.  The text includes a color clue and the what the animal begins with.  There is a speech bubble with the animal sound too.  The reader would make their guess, turn the page and find a delightful illustration.  The animal covers the two pages, so it is large.  The illustrations were done digitally but I would of thought with pen and black sharpie to outline the details.  We do this a lot in my room so it would be a great mentor text for this medium.  I'd have no clue how to create these digitally.  Each animal states, "I'm a ..."  

I just read the book from front to back with my youngest in fourth grade.  She enjoyed it.  The ending of this book made me chuckle right outloud.  I never expected the interactive ending for the reader.  I had fun interacting with this book.  I can't wait to use it tomorrow with my students.  One little detail I enjoyed just from a craft point of view the corners are rounded on each page, giving it a softer feel and look.

I'm so excited to discover Edward Gibbs has two more books with the same format; I Spy Under the Sea and I Spy with My Little Eye.  I also just pre-ordered I Spy Pets which will be out for the first month of school next year.


  1. We love Edward Gibbs at my library. There's another, similar series but it has a lot more text - Looking Closely by Frank Serafini. It has photographs.

  2. Jennifer,
    Thanks for the suggestion. I will have to look for Looking Closely. It sounds like a great companion text.