I started writing this review on Friday afternoon. It’s a book that presents fictional representation of Paris. In the meantime terrible events took place in the real city. Pierre the Maze Detective takes place in a happier world. My heart goes out to all those affected. I wish that the world was a simpler place where its worst crime was a dastardly mastermind stealing a maze stone, and that all problems could be solved by a diminutive detective wearing plus-fours and stripy socks. Sadly, things just aren’t like that.
Lots of children’s books come into our house. Many of which are very good. Some though are exceptional and make me almost uncontrollably excited. My childhood is well past me now, but the very best of of children’s books reignite that essence of child inside me, leading me to caper about in a way that embarrasses the children. Pierre the Maze Detective is one such book.
I loved puzzle books as a child and still do, but don’t often find the time to explore them. This one demands to be pored over, every page has a multitude of things to see; jokes, quirks and above all, mazes. I forgot to mention, I love mazes even more than I enjoy puzzle books.
I’ll be honest. Where’s Wally has never really done it for me. It’s diverting for a while, but at the end of the day it’s just starting a pictures. Pierre and his creators, Hiro Kamigaki and the gang at IC4Design take things one step further.
This is like the Ultimate Alphabet for maze-freaks. There is just so much stuff to see. Each maze pulls you in as you find more and more little details. This is the sort of book you sit down to look at for five minutes and find yourself still there half and hour later.
There are sixteen mazes in all. Each double-page spread has a theme and a main maze. There are many smaller mazes within and numerous hidden objects to discover too. Some of the hidden things are generic, such as gold stars and red trophies, whilst others are tailored to the page’s theme, such as the must-see exhibits at the museum. This gives the book an extra dimension and, combined with breathtaking attention to detail, makes it captivating.
The book’s highlights include:
A sky maze between colourful hot air balloons.
A maze made of railway tracks.
A haunted house, complete with resident vampire.
A chase across a crowded city.
Pierre the Maze Detective is one of the finest children’s books I have seen in some time. It’s engaging and entertaining, with so much going on for children to discover. I think it would suit a child over 7. My 10 year old loved it. Children younger than that will enjoy looking at the pictures, but their attention spans might not be up to the concentration levels required.
With Christmas coming this book makes for an excellent present. I’ve already brought two more copies and will be looking for excuses to buy extras. A brilliantly executed children’s book and a book you can literally get lost in…
Many thanks to the team at Laurence King Publishing (producers of some of the most beautiful children’s books around) for sending me a copy of this book