I spy with my little eye something beginning with A, and B, C too and, of course, D. In fact, with every turn of the page in Jenna Brockett’s new book, A, B, Seek I spy all sorts of animals and objects lurking in a black and white network of leaves.
Two years in the making, this ingenious little book may be designed for children but more
than one adult has been seen trying to spot just what is hidden in the foliage.
“I started the book in 2015 after first experimenting with just one letter, the letter M. People loved the idea and I could see the potential of using the whole alphabet to create an educational book which would test children’s powers of observation.
“However, the ‘I Spy’ theme came from separate artwork I was already playing with using fairy tales and TV shows as the catalyst for finding hidden objects. I originally created pictures on a large canvas then sold them as A4 posters and also as cards but the book has been a much bigger project.”
Jenna says all the pictures in A, B, Seek were hand drawn with each letter taking about 20 hours to plan, design, sketch and draw. “Along with each picture there is also a list of the hidden objects on the opposite page. Each page deals with one letter of the alphabet so all the hidden objects start with that letter. Some are quite tricky; not as clear cut as children might think.”
With more than 1000 images to find hiding amongst the 26 letters, this book offer hours of fun and, as Jenna says, can be explored two ways – by looking at the word list then finding the corresponding items in the picture or by studying the picture and writing down as many hidden objects as possible before comparing them to the list.
Aimed primarily at children aged two to 12 years, and ideal as a Christmas or birthday gift, nevertheless many people have added the book to newborn baby gift parcels, recognising that the black and white images provide early interest and stimulation for babies. Born and raised in Pakuranga, this former Elm Park Primary and Edgewater College student says she has always had a bent for art, and craft too.
“I did art at school and trained as a graphic artist but I’m also pretty handy with a hammer and nails – I like woodwork – and with needle and thread. I enjoy exploring my creativity.’
Although she has dabbled with several mediums, Jenna says she prefers to draw so preparing the book was especially pleasurable. “But I’m now working a cloth nappy design so that’ll be different!”
While A, B, Seek (RRP $30) is available from selected bookstores, Jenna mostly sells from her online site – www.prints-princesses.co.nz or at weekend markets.
She will be at the Crafternoon Tea Market in the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, Dominion Rd,
Balmoral on December 9, 5-9pm.