Look out - I-Spy books are back

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LIKE Spangles, slinky springs and Stylophones, they were an essential for any kid growing up in the 70s - and now they’re back!

Any adult of a certain age will remember the tedium of long car, train or bus journeys and the saviour of frustrated parents everywhere, the humble I-Spy book, essentially a list of things for excitable youngsters to tick off as soon as they’d clocked them.

The premise was simple - here’s a list of everyday items - all you have to do is find them and score points for doing so.

And you’ll be glad to know that the new versions, launched by Michelin, are just what you’d expect - and what’s more, they still have the power to enchant children.

My two youngsters were enamoured with their books - the Every Vehicle On The Road edition attracting a flurry of frenzied ticks and excited shouts as we hurtled down the motorway. The football grounds one had huge appeal to two soccer mad youngsters - each colourful page attracting enthusiasm as they peered over the shirts and stats - and realised that ticking off Doncaster Rovers was one of the higher point scorers!

There are now fifty books in the range and these include: I-Spy The Night Sky, which should be popular given the resurgent interest in astronomy over the last few years; I-Spy Minerals, Rocks and Fossils which is likely to become many children’s favourites; a dual language I-Spy Paris, which as well as the sights of Paris could cater for children wishing to learn French and perhaps French children learning English and I-Spy Kings and Queens, which could be of particular interest in this year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Each pocket sized I-Spy book contains up to 200 themed colour photographs, which readers have to spot. The aim is to tick them off and collect points; having reached 1,000 points children can join the I-Spy Club and send off for a certificate.

The new I-Spy books are priced at £2.50 each, except for the Paris and Mini Atlas titles which are £2.99, and are available from all good bookshops and Amazon. For more information please go to: i spy

Long car journeys will never be the same again!

* Darren Burke