HomeJean Marzollo, author of I SPY books


Baby Photo

A grandfather sent me this photo years ago and told me I could use it.
It is my all-time favorite I SPY photo.

JM initials


Eastchester, New York

© Elizabeth Rudin

Brooklyn, New York


Kansas City, Missouri


Cold Spring, New York


Kansas City, Missouri


Gladstone, New Jersey


Teenage brothers in 1992 enjoying I SPY

Las Vegas, Nevada

Emily Rose, with a life-size I SPY Paper Doll Dress
Westerville, OH

Juliet Gray, with Cooper and Cyrus Kolehmainen
Louisville, KY


Beth and Oliver,
Somerville, MA



Robert and niece Riley
Garrison, New York


Cold Spring, New York

Garrison, New York

Kansas City, Missouri

Kalyb and Brian
Kansas City, Missouri


Garrison, New York


New Windsor, New York


Photo of Corinne Jenkins

Corinne Jenkins, age 2
Yorktown, Virginia


Photo sent to me by my friend, Sister Cathy Molloy, teacher and on-site project coordinator
of the OK Clean Water Project in Kumbo, Cameroon


Photo sent to me by my friend, Sister Cathy Molloy, teacher and on-site project coordinator
of the OK Clean Water Project in Kumbo, Cameroon


Cold Spring, New York


Photo of John Thorpe

John W. Holt, III, 18 months
Dallas, Texas

Kasper the Cat

Cold Spring, New York


Galligan Photo

Mim and Chris Galligan, with Claudia Wall
Leawood, Kansas


John and Granddaughter

John and Hailey Desautels
Burlington, Vermont


Amija, kindergartener, Kansas City, MO with her favorite book and book report (below).


Photo sent to me by my friend, Sister Cathy Molloy, teacher and on-site project coordinator
of the OK Clean Water Project in Kumbo, Cameroon


Avril and Rowan

Avril and Rowan Black
Lagunitas, CA


Roy and Xander
South Africa


Do You Know New by Jean Marzollo

Robyn Bailis-Sirota and Josh Sirota
Encinitas, California


Hannah Bissinger

Hannah Bissinger
Cold Spring, New York


New Horizons Class

New Horizon Academy
Eden Prairie, Minnesota




March 2011

I like I SPY because it is very hard.
Some things are very close to other things.
It is a really big place.

Franklin, IL




February 9, 2011

Dear Jean:

I know these books are made for children, but I guess we are all children just grown up.

My husband and I ( we are 67 and 68) love you hardback books . We do them as a puzzle together each morning during breakfast time. We each try to see who can find things first. I usually find things before my husband but not always. We did this along time ago. Then we put them away and now we are enjoying them again. We do not know if we have all you did or not. What a wonderful way to lose yourself in something and forget the cares of this world.

A fan,
Dorothy Miller

I SPY Couple
Dorothy and David Earl Miller



November 26, 2010

Dear Ms. Marzollo,

I teach Second Grade Inclusion in the Bronx and I recently used Pierre the Penguin as my classroom Observation Lesson.  The children loved the story, the rhyming, and the amazing illustrations.  The children wanted me to read the story over and over.  We printed out pictures of Pierre before, during, and after - in his little wet suit!  We have also used the internet to watch Pam Schaller feed the penguins, and we are sewing and stuffing mini penguins as a class project.  The children are having a ball with these  lessons.  I have to tell you what a wonderful story Pierre the Penguin is! 

Thank you so much,

Jennifer Fowler, Bronx NY


Classroom project   Classroom project
Pierre Classroom Photo   Pierre Classroom Photo
Click here for more photos of this class project.
Pierre Classroom Photo   Pierre Classroom Photo
Pierre Classroom Photo   Pierre Classroom Photo
Pierre the Penguin Cover

Click here for more information on Pierre the Penguin


February 2, 2010

Ms. Marzollo,

I just wanted you to know that your I AM books are wonderful! Presently, I am using I Am a Rock to teach our KY core content about the properties and uses of rocks. My kids love the riddles - they keep them engaged.
My daughter and I made a Power Point of the riddles, answers with pictures and properties that make each rock useful (core content). Thanks for making books I can teach reading and science from at the same time. They are few and far between for kindergarten students.

Melinda Neal, K Teacher
Campbellsville, Kentucky

Click here to see the project   I am a Rock


December 2009


I fell in LOVE with the book I Love You: A Rebus Poem a few years ago when I was given it as a gift from a favorite 2 year old of mine. I wasn't just given the book, but had this 2 year old climb into my lap and read it to me from beginning to end. I SOBBED because of the pride that was beaming from this child's face, the love behind the words they read to me, and the creativity of a unique and meaningful gift.

I am an early preschool teacher at New Horizons Academy now, and I teach 2 and 3 year olds in my own class. I focus a lot on early literacy in my room, and have carried this book with me from year to year and used it at every opportunity! Last year at our Christmas program I gathered the parents and had them hold their child in their lap as their child read the book to them. They cried, I cried, it was simply beautiful.

Thank you for your gift to me and to many! I'd love to pass it along as much as possible.

Catherine Weller
New Horizon Academy
Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Click here for more information on
I Love You:
A Rebus Poem.

I Love You: A Rebus Poem Cover



October 8, 2009

Dear Jean Marzollo,

I am writing in regards to the wonderful "I SPY" books. I have an eleven year old boy (Jordan) who also has Down Syndrome, Hirschsprungs disease (bowel) and Perthes disease (hip) he ended up getting a bit more than the average child with Down Syndrome has.

Jordan has a hard cover book called "I SPY: A Book of Picture Riddles". The size of this book makes it easy for him to see (compared to the smaller paperback versions) and scan the pictures etc. It has been a wonderful book for him and has held his interest very well. I think that the I spy books are excellent for any child who has a disability like Down Syndrome. Jordan loves the book!


Kim Hollis
New Zealand


I SPY cover

Click here for more
information on



Hollis Family







August 2, 2009

Dear Jean Marzollo,

I am writing just to thank you for writing "Shanna's Doctor Show." I first came across this book in the home of one of my very good friends -- whose name is in fact Shanna! She was visiting a book vendor's table years ago and your book's title caught her eye, for obvious reasons. Upon reading the book, she could not help but envision herself on each page. At the time, she was a pre-med college student persistently pressing her way through the arduous journey that is higher learning.

Shanna graduated from college -- with honors. Today, she is about to enter her third year of medical school in pursuit of her unrelenting childhood dream -- becoming a doctor. Honestly, such an occurrence is much more than a mere coincidence. To her and I, it is both undeniable affirmation and sheer inspiration. Today there is another "Shanna" reading your book somewhere -- and imagining the possibilities. May she too be inspired to transcend any, and all, supposed limitations on what an African-American young woman can achieve.

Recently, I purchased a new copy of "Shanna's Doctor Show" as a surprise gift for Shanna's 25th birthday. Please continue writing the stories that encourage a child's dream one day to become a reality. Thank you, in advance.

Mark Phillips


Shanna's Doctor Show
Dr. Shanna John



May 1, 2009

Hi Jean!

My name is Tricia Edmonson and I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how thankful I am for your sweet book, "I Love You: A Rebus Poem".

Shortly after purchasing that book as a gift for them, our boys were diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Our boys were non-verbal and very isolated. They were so closed off, and we feared we might never hear them speak, know their thoughts and feelings, or discover their little personalities.

Your book was the "key to their lock", so to speak. The pictures gave them confidence in their own understanding, the rhythm and rhyme entranced them and helped them eventually replicate the words, and the sweet sentiment connected a mama to her sons and allowed me to hear those 3 little words for the very first time from my own children's lips. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this sweet little book!

I just wanted to say, "Thank you" from the bottom of my heart, and let you know how much your work has meant to our family. Thanks again!

Tricia Edmonson

I Love You: A Rebus Poem Cover   Click here for more information on
I Love You:
A Rebus Poem.



Nebraska Class

Left to Right:
Becca, Marisa, T.J. and Nora

Nebraska Class Project

I SPY School Dyas Cover  

April 8, 2009

Dear Jean,


We are Oren, Becca, Nora, and TJ, the Maple group at Ruth Staples Child Development Lab in Lincoln, Nebraska. We are writing you a letter because we wanted to thank you for writing the I SPY books and to share with you what we have been doing with our own I SPY work. We already made our own I SPY pages, where we hid things that we could glue down on paper. But now, we are trying to BUILD our own I SPY structure! We used a lot of different materials, like pieces of wood, beads, and paperclips. We thought the most fun things to hide were stickers and tiny bells because we thought those were the hardest things to find!

We also have a few questions for you. How long does it take you to write a whole I SPY book? And what do you think the hardest I Spy book you have written is? Do you write the words AND pick the pictures? Our favorite I SPY book is the Gold Challenger. Becca also wanted you to know that she thinks you should create an I SPY with maps involved!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our letter. We can't wait to hear back from you!

Your friends,
The Maples

Jean Marzollo says: I answer letters directly, but want to share with you what I told the children. It can take about a year to make an I SPY book. The hardest I SPY book for me to write was I SPY TREASURE HUNT. Walter Wick makes the pictures, and I write the words.





May 18, 2009

Dear Jean,

My son, Maxwell, has had a difficult first three years. He was born 13 weeks early as a 2 pound 4 ounce preemie, and required heart surgery at 3 weeks old. He is now a handsome and healthy three year old who just adores your books! I love that he really associates pictures easily. Your books have taught him so much about association and rhyming and recognizing pictures appropriately.

It was because of your book, "I Love You" that he was finally able to learn to say, "I love you", which as you can imagine, is music to his parents' ears!

Kimberly Hoffman
New Bern, North Carolina



  Mama Mama Papa Papa Cover  
  Maxwell Hoffman  



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