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==Where's Wally? The Fantastic Journey==
Seeing as how Jack is absolutely Wally crazy at the moment I thought I would continue the household theme and write a review on his books seeing as I have them under my nose from sun rise to sun set most days. We only got these books as luckily enough I won them in a draw at work. The Book people who sell us books throughout the year do this thing where if you buy over 10 books in one order they give you a free one of your choice. This is how at the end of the year there are a fair few books stored up so the hold a raffle type drawer and I was luckily enough to get a gift bag full of 6 Wally books.
==Price and Availability==
To buy this Wally Book individually the RRP which is printed on the back of the book is a whopping £6.99 p which does seem rather a lot but for the hours of fun it gives I suppose it is worth it. However the 6 book set which came in a bag from the Bookpeople was only £10 so per book so at £1.66 odd I would say it was a much better bargain to get this. Having had a look online Amazon are selling them for around £4 so it is worth shopping around.
These Wally books are everywhere and there is even an iphone app that you can get for the Wally game now. I have seen the books lots of times at boot sales and ebay has a large quantity of new and used books listed on there. If you wanted to buy a Wally book you really wouldn't have to look very far. We even picked up an old video of the Wally cartoons that used to be on TV in a charity shop for 25p and this has 3 hours of Wally! You can imagine how Wally crazy we are all getting in our house right now!
==Look and Design==
The books of Wally are on the large size and this means that the double sided pages of pictures are of a good enough size to hunt out all the thing that there is to find. Jack looks really cute holding up the big book as it makes him look even smaller than he is and he will often have to put the book on the floor to be able to get a good look all over the double page spread.
There are 16 pages in the paperback book and in this there are 12 different scenes of pictures where you can search for Wally. At the front of the book there is a little explanation on how the book works and it shows you all the things that you need to find hidden in each scene. There is Wally, Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, Woof and Odlaw to find along with a scroll, a pair of binoculars, a camera, a bone and a key. Woof the dog is only shown by his stripy tail so he is the hardest character to find and the key is so small that this has got to be the trickiest item to pick out as well. Along with these things to find if you flip to the back of the book there is a page of boxes where one box will relate to one of the scenes in the book and this gives you a whole list of other thing to find such as three green witches and an exploding pie.
The Wally books are a true classic and have been published since 1989 and I can remember myself doing them as a child although I can't say I was obsessed with them as much as Jack is. There is no age range printed on the book but Jack has been doing them since he was a little over 3 and he manages fine in finding al the things seeing as it is more of a picture book than anything else. He has managed to memorise where most things are in the books that he has and I am glad that I have been dishing them out week by week as reward for his star chart. This means he is good all week so that he can get his new Wally book and then the book keeps him quiet for ages whilst he hunts out all the things you have to find. He is a real expert at finding Woofs tail and surprisingly quick to fin the little items like the scroll and the key too. So at least I know there is nothing wrong with his eye sight too!
The double spread pages contain so much to look at that even when you have found all the characters and the items you can go on to find the dozen or so items listed at the back of the book and this means that it will take forever to complete each page and thus making it really good value for money (especially as I got them free).
The Fantastic Journey Book a ton of different scenes for Jack and us to really get interested in and there is a lot of mystical type of themes going on. There is a medieval page, a monk page, a magic carpet page, a dwarf page and a page that is filled with Wally's and called the land of Wally's, plus a ton more. The hardest has got to be the last one with all the Wally's on as finding the real Wally is really difficult as it says that he is the one who has lost one of his shoes. You have to find the missing shoe and picking out the Wally with only one shoe took us forever but was great fun.
I have to say that staring at these pages does make me feel rather sick after a while and makes my eyes go a little crossed but this doesn't' seem to happen to Jack and he can play all day with the books and still want to stay up after bedtime to devote more time to Wally!
You can't really go wrong with getting this Wally book for children of all ages because everyone like a puzzle and this book is the biggest one of all. For a simple idea it is certainly well loved and a true classic in its own right. The drawings are bright and well depicted in each different scene and the fact that the books keep being able to create such individual scenes and pages is really good. Not only is it fun hunting for all the things you need to find but because there is funny things going on in the drawings all over the pages it makes scouring the pages such a laugh and you always seem to see something different each time you pick up the book.
There is so many hours of fun with this Wally book that I can't find anything negative to say about it. The drawings are clear and well thought out and Jack really does love looking at them. Far better than him playing the computer and it does give him a break from all of his Lego he plays with.
I think that this book is well deserving of a top score of 5 out of 5 stars and a very high recommendation. They have made it tricky to find some things and easier to find others which gives the book a bit of balance and makes it perfect for any ability of child. A great buy I think!
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
many thanks for taking the time to read.
There are certain things that fall into the category of games/puzzles where you need to use patience in order to complete them without actually realising that's what you're doing. Jigsaw puzzles most definitely fall into that category, as do the Where's Wally series of books. Our 7 year old son received a pack of 6 WW books for Christmas from his little cousin, and they've given us endless hours of fun searching for the hidden characters and items within the intricately drawn pages.
Where's Wally? has been around for years now, and each book features a scenes depicted with hundreds, maybe even thousands of various characters set within the particular scene. Of these characters, there will somewhere be the intrepid explorer Wally, as well as a selection of his particular friends. Wally wears a red and white striped top, a red hat and glasses, and his other friends wear their own guises and are consistent throughout. What you have to do is to somehow locate Wally and his companions wherever they may be on each double page.
The characters are Odlaw, the shifty looking naughty one, Wizard Whitebeard, with his multi coloured wizard's staff and his white beard, Wenda, who is merely a female version of Wally, and the dog Woof, who is often the hardest to find as all you can usually see of him is a bit of his tail poking out from somewhere. This particular book, The Fantastic Journey, features a variety of different locations and colour sets, with each of the 12 different scenes depicting part of a tale where Wally meets Wizard Whitebeard who tells him his destiny is to find 12 secret scrolls to learn the truth about himself. Each page has a brief introduction to the scene, giving a bit of the story to explain the artwork and characters within it, before we embark on finding where Wally and his friends are. It's absolutely lovely that this isn't just a puzzle book: there is a bit of adventure and a story to it as well, which is perfect when you're aiming at children whose imaginations are so much more fertile in general than our adult ones, and need stimulation when performing what is essentially the same task over and over again.
Some pages are harder than others, and a lot of it depends on how the page is constructed. The first page, The Gobbling Gluttons, features hoards of people sitting at long wooden tables in medieval garb, stuffing themselves. The fact that there are tables means that you can search and scour for the hard to find characters by doing it methodically, table by table. This makes it somewhat easier to go through it thoroughly, knowing you haven't missed bits. Other pages, such as The Great Ball-Game Players, have less of a regular structure, and you have to be careful to not miss parts of it. Finally, the 12th scenes is the trickiest, for a different reason. Its title is The Land of Wallies and is a page full of Wallies! The hardest thing to do here is work out who the real Wally is, but it does make it easier at least to find the other characters. I found Odlaw, Woof and Wizard Whitebeard within about fifteen seconds of looking, something which took more like fifteen minutes on the other pages!
There is a tendency with these books to think that once you've found the characters once, it then begins so much easier the next time around. This may be true if you can remember where they were, for sure, but it's not just these five characters you have to try and find, but also a cohort of Wally followers, different characters dressed exactly like Wally, but spread throughout the pages. They only appear once in the whole book as opposed to once on every page, and this actually makes it more difficult to find them. Quite a few times I'd find one by default and completely by chance whilst looking for someone else! At the back of the book there's also a checklist of other things, various items that are to be found in each scene - there's a good couple of hundred items to be found in the book, so this provides even more fun. You try finding the exploding pie in the gluttons page where there are pies everywhere!
I'm making it sound like it's all me enjoying this, and that I've wrestled the book away from my son and he's sitting in a corner grumpy at me because it's HIS book, but the truth is that we both love doing this together. It's tricky to do it with more than two people, as you need to be able to concentrate and focus on each page, sometimes getting really close and this is hard to do with the book. The book is slightly larger than A4 size, although you can get the pocket size ones, which must be a real strain on the eyes if you do it for too long. We have a selection of these Where's Wally books from martin Handford, and the creator himself has come up with a gem of an idea that is still proving itself to be a firm favourite worldwide many years on from their first publication. Handford, as author/illustrator, has given us such intricate artwork that the patience he has shown with creating the pages deserves the patience we must have in order to successfully find everyone he has hidden, and this goes for all the books and not just this one. The Fantastic Journey is a great storytelling book as well as a puzzle book, and this double magic makes it a firm favourite with us - endless hours of fun and highly recommended. It retails at £6.99, and is well worth every penny.
Where's Wally has become rather iconic across the globe. Personally I have always enjoyed sitting down with my eyes glued, scrutinizing every character I see on every page, trying to find the little 'blighter' and his pals. Usually one could only enjoy a Where's Wally when he/she had some serious spare time, a sofa, a cup of tea, and a huge amount of patience. Well these mild inconveniences that minimised the time one could spend doing a Where's Wally have been eliminated through Martin Handford's new releases (including a new ipod app - A review is following).
The world's iconic Where's Wally franchise have released a selection of six rather enticing, pocket sized books; priced individually at £2.99 - not bad for hours of fun, sweat, tears and anchievement. The one i chose to purchase earlier this month was the Fantastic Journey, (though after completing I am hoping to buy them all!)
I pealed back the glossy rather attractive front page to find a rather brief introduction and no surprises the list of the infamous five: Wally, Wizard Whitebeard, Wenda, Woof, Odlaw. Also unique to this edition is the lost travel items that one is told to find, prolonging but increasing the sense of achievement.
Graphically the book is very similar to what one would expect from the series but none the less very impressive with excellent clarity on such miniscule figures.
==The scenes, the episodes==
The scenes: There are twelve scenes featured in each of the six editions. The themes of which vary along with the difficulty. The designs are great for all ages and will never become outdated - along with being rather eye-catching.
The scenes names in The Fantastic Journey are as follows (in chronological order):
*The Gobbling Gluttons
*The Battling Monks
*The Carpet Flyers
*The Great Ball-Game Players
*The Ferocious Red Dwarves
*The Nasty Nasties
*The Fighting Foresters
"The Deep Sea Divers
*The Knights Of The Magic Flog
*The Unfriendly Giants
*The Underground Hunters
And finishing rather nicely on The Land of Wally's
Each scene is world's apart (just what is needed when you want to be enchanted for hours on end) each has its own introduction adding to the story and excitement.
The images are small and the complementary mini magnifier is extremely important and for most instances works well (though slightly restricting) but overall a welcomed addition, well in my opinion at least.
Difficulty wise the Fantastic Journey is relatively difficult and rather challenging due to the extensive lists of unique items one can find (a comprehensive list is provided at the back of the book and again another great aspect for those accustomed to other more difficult Where's Wally books) Each scene has a different difficulty and different ones will suit certain people. Overall each will take around 2-3 hours or more to complete the most difficult took me 3 and a half hours including additional findings.
Once completed the sketches serve great purpose for comical influences and spare time, even if one couldn't care less where Wally is and would prefer if he would stay in hiding, ensuring they do not catch the Where's Wally bug. One can admire the quality of illustrations present.
Overall this product is a bargain and an excellent purchase for anyone vaguely interested in similar puzzling ideas. It is not just a brilliant novelty item it is perfect for presents to all ages, stocking fillers or little personal gifts - GIve it a try you will not be disappointed.
This book is brilliant for life's unexpected boring moments such as train delays or more typically tube strikes. However saying this if you find this book too heavy to carry (weighing near the same as a pen) you can now purchase the Where's Wally app (this will be reviewed for those interested imminently).
Ask yourself children are screaming "i'm bored" one solution - Where's Wally: The Fantastic Journey. You are bored stiff and want to do something more challenging with your time than watch 'You've been framed' one solution - Where's Wally: The Fantastic Journey, for some unexpected reason tube staff go on strike (once again) - one solution Where's Wally: The Fantastic Journey.
The excitement is ever lasting, your persistence is crippling, Wally is hiding, Wally is waiting - when will you join the craze?
This review can also be found on my ciao site under the same name (bazzaboyt)