Reviews for I Spy Under the Sea

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
In this follow-up to I Spy with My Little Eye, die-cut pages with colorful art enable the reader to peek through a "porthole" and guess what marine animal is on the next page. Each animal provides a hint ("My arms are called tentacles"). The creatures count down from seven clownfish to one shark--ending the book with a toothy and thrilling (but not-too-scary), "I spy . . . YOU!"

Kirkus Reviews 2012 January #1
An under-the-sea guessing and counting game from the creator of I Spy with My Little Eye (2011). In alternating spreads, readers receive clues about a sea creature, with the answer revealed in the next. In the first, each verso features an image of the creature's eye paired with the bold words "I spy with my little eye . . ." If children look carefully, they will spot a full or partial silhouette of the animal, too. The recto provides further information: "something with stripes," "big claws," "lots of arms." A die-cut hole allows youngsters to peek at part of the creature, and an additional hint is provided. Hints vary from leading prompts "I have a funny name" to common observations "I walk sideways on the beach" to the factual "My arms are called tentacles." Turn the page, and a colorful scene unfolds. Digital art mimics paint with black-ink outlines, creating texture and movement. Each friendly-looking animal is named (clownfish, crab, octopus and more) and the quantity noted. This starts arbitrarily with the number seven and counts down to one shark. His smile, unfortunately, may appear more menacing than merry when he says "I'm a SHARK, and I spy… / YOU!" In the end, children are invited to discover their own world through a spy-hole. A clever introduction to ocean life. (Picture book. 2-5) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 January #1

In an aquatic companion to I Spy with My Little Eye, Gibbs keeps the format of the first book while offering an animal guessing game that counts down from seven. A circular window on the left shows part of an animal's face, along with the words: "I spy with my little eye..." Opposite, the sentence is completed ("...something with a curly tail"), appearing along with a circular die-cut that reveals more of that animal's features and an additional clue ("I am named after an animal you can ride"). Intervening spreads reveal the mystery animals, in this case six colorful sea horses outlined with scribbly ink. Slightly more subdued but just as much fun as its predecessor. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 March

PreS-K--Following the same successful formula as in I Spy with My Little Eye (Candlewick, 2011), Gibbs offers peeks, via die-cut circles, into the marine world: "I spy with my little eye…something with a curly tail. (I am named after an animal you can ride.)" On the following spread, readers will find six seahorses. Why six? The author is introducing basic numbers--a countdown from seven to one-as well as aquatic creatures. The digitally created illustrations are well executed, mainly composed of muted blues and greens but with some colorful seahorses and bright sand crabs invigorating the earlier pages. Then Gibbs turns the tables on readers, as is his custom, and the last creature says, "I'm a SHARK, and I spy…YOU!" This cleverly designed treatment will inspire children to take a closer look at life in the ocean, at least in the pages of a book.--Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

[Page 124]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.