Do you remember the first time you picked up Where’s Waldo as a kid? I had never seen anything like it. It felt like part book/part game. It felt like a challenge. Both kids and adults enjoyed it. It encouraged the reader to study the illustrations and notice the details. Perhaps there were other books like it before Where’s Waldo hit the scene, but in my experience it was the first of its kind. And it launched a whole new publishing category: Seek & Find Books.

There are new seek & find books being published all the time these days, with lots of variety in approach and illustration style. Here are 4 we’ve added to our collection — and one is a holiday book. Any of these would make a fun gift.

First up is A Thousand Billion Things (and Some Sheep) by Loic Clement with illustrations by Anne Montel. I really love the illustration style on this one. Each object is separate and complete. The book gives one challenge to find on each page and takes you through all the common objects in a child’s world. I also like that as a parent, you could easily give more challenges per page to make this book an endless treasure hunt. It’s a big book, with a “board book” cover.

Next up is Find Me: A Hide-and-Seek Book by Anders Arhoj. Such a bold cover — no title, and those big circles are cut-outs!

The format is over-size. The illustrations are modern and quirky. And I love studying the wide-ranging color palettes on each page. This book is extra fun, because you follow one character through the pages, and then, when you get to the end, it gives you another character to track down going backwards through the book.

My third recommendation is Look for Ladybug in Plant City by Katherina Manolessou.

This has an extra-wide format and a simple story line — Daisy’s pet ladybug gets lost, and the reader gets to know Plant City (The Market, The Riverbank, Hedge Hospital, The Fair…) while they search. The book gives the reader tons of things to find on each page. This illustrator’s work is new to me and I’m really drawn to it.

Last but not least, is a holiday seek-and-find, Bear’s Merry Book of Hidden Things by Gergely Dudas. While all of these books are aimed at a young audience, this one feels particularly young — I would say pre-schooler.

It has simple challenges, and is a fun little addition to your stack of holiday titles. My own kids had their young cousins in mind when we put this in our collection.

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Your turn! Does your family enjoy Seek & Find books? Any favorites that you would recommend? I’d love to hear.

P.S. — My top 20 Christmas picture books.