Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Walter Wick - February 23

Happy Birthday Walter Wick - February 23

Our Favorite Can You See? book
"I remember when we celebrated Walter Wick's birthday last year," my daughter said when I was pulling his Can You See What I See? books from the library shelf.  Last year, we learned about the important photograph that Walter Wick took of odds and ends that lead to his collaboration with Jean Marzollo on the iSpy Series. The iSpy Series is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2011!  We enjoyed watching many of the videos that Wick has posted on his YouTube Channel.  We had so much fun learning all these new things and solving the picture puzzles that we were inspired to create our own puzzle and rhyme to celebrate his birthday. (Click here to view on Flickr).

I was challenged by the idea of how to make this year's celebration as memorable.  We read the book Can you See What I See: Seymour and the Juice Box Boat which got me thinking about Seymour, a little character made out of red, blue and yellow beads that also appears in the Can You See What I See? Series. (Click Here to Learn More about Seymour + Another Article on Seymour) I wondered if we could make our own Seymour-like characters with the abundance of beads that my daughter has collected over the years from birthday gifts and craft store purchases.

We gathered up the seemingly endless bags of beads and a few plastic-coated wire ties that I have been collecting from toy packaging.  (yes..I save weird things like this, but my collection of random items is no where near the size of Walter Wick's, nor as organized - watch this video).  I began the activity by telling my daughter that I had never done this before and that I didn't know if it was going to work.  She was excited just to try something new.  Below is picture of our beaded friends.  We called them "Search and Solve" based on the subtitle for the Can You See What I See? books.
Solve and Search
We weren't satisfied with just making the beaded dolls.  We wanted to make our own picture puzzles and rhymes based entirely on the Seymour books (we wish there were more than 2 books!) which are aimed at children ages 3-5. I had the kids gather many random items from around the house, arrange them, place our beaded friend somewhere amongst the items, and take a picture.  We then studied the rhymes in the book and developed our own.  The pictures and rhymes are below.  (Click on the picture to enlarge.) My children were excited to take a photograph of the puzzle just like Walter Wick!
Can you see a bug,
ducks in a row,
2 trees,
a dinosaur,
where did Search go?
Can you see a bear,
a pig in a pen?
Can you help Solve
find a blue hen?
Search and Solve
see a helicopter
and a light post from Sesame Street
Making these puzzle was really neat!
Designing another puzzle with Solve.
He was very excited about his creation!
We want to wish Walter Wick a very happy birthday and thank him for his wonderful books! Additionally, we were very excited to have received these birthday thoughts from him via email:

I was always an easy going kid and as long as I had a cake with marshmallow frosting, I was happy. I was a skier too, and of course in February we often had snow.  Once I was so excited to be out skiing that I completely forgot it was my birthday.  I didn't mind, just being out all day in the snow was the only gift I needed.  I don't remember if there was a cake waiting when I went home.  There probably was. My mom is 94 and she never fails to send me a card.

Recently, he also posted on his Facebook Page an interesting fact about birthdays:

Once I met a boy who had a couple dozen baseball cards.  I told him that I was pretty sure two players in his pack had the same birthday.  He flipped them over and discovered that, indeed, there were two matching birthdays in the stats on the back.  How did I know?  Because of something called the Birthday Paradox which states that from a random sample of 23 people there is a 50% chance that two will have the same birthday. So, like flipping a coin the chance I was right was about 50/50, and I lucked out.

Amazingly, with a random sampling of just 57 people, the chances go up to 99%.  You can easily test this on your Facebook Page. Click the event button on the left side under profile.  Underneath the events you'll see a "birthday" button. There you'll find a list of your friends birthdays.  If you have more than 57 in that list it is close to certain that two will share the same birthday.  You can read more about this Birthday Paradox at Wikipedia. And for anyone who happens to be reading this on their birthday, this little bit of trivia can be your gift, with best wishes from Seymour and me!

Walter Wick


We have another Walter Wick fan in our house.  He has been obsessed with the books since Halloween  when he fell in love with Can You See What I See? On a Scary, Scary Night. Today February 23, 2013, we spent the morning making picture puzzles.  Here was our favorite, Can You See What I See? Lego. We set up all our Lego mini figures, vehicles, and sets.  Can You See What I See?....two helicopters or I spy a Clone Trooper on a speeder.


3. Can You See What I See? - Scholastic Page (Games, Videos, Printables)
4. I Spy - Scholastic Page (Games, Parents and Teachers Section)
5. Walter Wick's Facebook Page - Become a Fan!
6. Walter Wick Studio Channel on YouTube - Great Videos!
7. More YouTube Videos - Clip 1Clip 2Clip 3 (Gives sense of how much work go into his books!)

Walter Wick Studio Tour from Lunch Productions on Vimeo.


  1. Loved Search and Solve! AVR

  2. What a wonderfully creative celebration. Thanks for sharing it with us! ^_^


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