Pierre the Maze Detective

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Whenever I buy books, an important consideration is how good a book will look on my shelf, and I mean that in the literal sense: I like pretty books. This makes for a lot of impulsive shopping as I’m bound to pick up random books that catch my eye, but I’ve never regretted buying a book for its sheer physical beauty.

Such was the case when I had to buy some art supplies a couple of weeks ago, I had meant to pick up a watercolor pad and some new drawing pencils (in my attempts to wring out my creative juices) and I happened to wander to the art books section (erm, yeah, two floors down, but whatever…) and wham! I spotted a lovely, picture book called “Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone.

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I collect picture books, and I grew up solving puzzle books like Where’s Wally, Usborne Puzzle Adventures, and even the local Super Boboy, so I’m not surprised I was drawn to Pierre.

“The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone” is the first installment in this new puzzle series (at least, I hope it’s a series!) by Hiro Kamigaki & Hiroshima-based illustrators’ collective IC4Design (text written by Chihiro Maruyama, translated by Emma Sakamiya), which showcases oodles of mazes, hidden objects, and a grand adventure. Basically, the task for the reader is to make their way out of the hidden mazes in each spread, find the hidden objects and solve the additional puzzles at the bottom of the right hand page.

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As much as I love puzzles, it’s really the art that drew me to the book — I had spotted the book from the top of the escalator (going down), picked it up and was unable to put it down! It’s a cross of Where’s Wally and M.C. Escher, and there’s just an insane (and I mean INSANE) amount of detail in each spread that must have taken a staggering amount of illustration work. Every turn of the page just leaves you agog and open-mouthed at the complexity of the illustrations: hundreds of people, winding paths and stairways, architectural sculptures, modes of transportation, animals and a whole lot more, all meticulously colored (shadows, shading and all — down to the very last cobblestone, and with little gags hidden here and there.

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Between the puzzles and the eye candy, this book will keep readers entertained for hours, and offers a great way to wean the kids (or yourself) off gadgets for a while. If you’re one of those peeping toms people who can’t stand an unsolved puzle, there’s a page with all the solutions in the back.

And I’m going to sound like an infomercial, but wait, there’s more —  the book came with a matching tote bag that’s absolutely divine (I LOVE BOOK TOTES)! I thought that was just awesome for the price of the book.

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Pierre the Maze Detective is a title from Laurence King, which is fast becoming one of my favorite publishers.  They have such lovely selection of designer books at very affordable prices — I don’t think I’ve bought any title over P1000 and I’ve already bought half a dozen of their titles in under a year).  And they do a lot of book tote deals, too (this is my second, after  This is Dali!) which makes buying the books even more enticing!

Learn more about Pierre the Maze Detective here.

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Pierre the Maze Detective, hardcover, 5/5 stars
P879 at National Book Store

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