I Spy
Play I Spy
Make Your Own
Parents and Teachers
Meet Jean Marzollo
Jean MarzolloRhyme, to me, is verbal music, and many of my picture books are illustrated poems.

When I write the I Spy riddles, I look for interesting words and phrases to rhyme. I put them together to fit the rhythmic pattern of I Spy. If the words fit, I can sing my riddles to the old-fashioned song "Sweet Betsy from Pike." Never heard it? Ask your music teacher. Once you learn the tune, you can sing your way through the I Spy books. You can also test riddles you write for your own I Spy creations. When I visit schools, I see many wonderful I Spy pictures, but rarely do I see riddles written in the I Spy pattern. It's not that hard. I bet, if you try, you can do it!

The I Spy books are fun to write because Walter Wick's photos are brilliant, clear, and original. They pull you in and hold you in a visual spell until you have found everything. The I Spy books also make you think. As an author and an educator, I'm very proud of this quality.

I didn't know that I would become an author when I was young, but I loved to read and play office. In a way, I still play office. In my office today I have a computer, a desk, a table, a rug, my grandmother's rocker, seven file cabinets, lots of books, and a copying machine. I look out my window at the tops of trees, and in the summer I can hear the birds sing.

I have been writing books for over twenty-five years and have published eighty-seven of them. Where do I get my ideas? The same place you do. I get my ideas from my brain, just as you get yours from your brain. Sometimes my ideas are inspired by real life; sometimes they come out of my imagination. If they're good, I write them down and save them. I've learned to value the gifts from my brain.

I write different kinds of books. In addition to the I Spy books, I write sports stories, such as Football Friends and Hockey Hero, which I wrote with my grown sons. I like to write non-fiction picture books such as Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, In 1492, and How Kids Grow. I'm writing Level 1 science books for Scholastic's Hello Reader series. The latest are I Am a Leaf and I Am Snow. These books are illustrated by Judith Moffatt.

I grew up in Manchester, Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut and Harvard Graduate School of Education. I live in the Hudson River Valley with my husband.

Happy Reading and Writing!