YoYo Go Maze & YoYo Go Spy, by Jeanette Rowe

Reviewed by Magdalena Ball

YoYo is a popular Maisy-Mouse styled dog who has become almost as famous as Maisy herself. He has been designed specifically to appeal to the very young, with simple naïve drawings, very bright colours, and simple, easy to follow adventures involving his animal friends, his little toy horse, and his family. The two new YoYo books are full of interactive fun and problem solving which will keep youngsters amused for long periods. YoYo Go Maze has seven different mazes, each with a different theme. There is a park, a pirate scene, fishing, an animal’s underground world, a farm, a jungle, and a zoo. In each two page scene, children have to find their way through the simple maze to an end path, but along the way they also have to find a variety of different animals or objects. Even the youngest children (from age one or so) can find the items along the way and older children (to age five or so) can follow the maze and build their knowledge of the things in the scene and their confidence.

In YoYo Go Spy, there are also seven scenes, one where YoYo is flying to the moon, a pirate captain looking for Treasure Island, a knight, at the circus, diving on the reef, in the jungle, and by the pond. The scenes are wonderfully detailed, and there are specific items to look for and find. It’s a kind of very simplified Where’s Wally for the youngest members of your family. Children will love these books, and for younger siblings of children who already enjoy mazes, this is a chance for them to join in. The scenes are fairly true in terms of the animals they contain, and so children can really learn about the different habitats and the types of creatures and items they contain. If they are already familiar with YoYo, they will enjoy pointing out his hidden friends and family, who also join in the make-believe. There’s plenty of fun for children, and lots of opportunity for adult interaction.

YoYo Go Maze ISBN 0733313361
YoYo Go Spy ISBN 073331337X
By Jeannette Rowe
ABC Books, Softcover, AU$9.95, 2004, 16pages each

This review first appeared at PreschoolEntertainment. It is reprinted here with permission.