Here’s something new to add to the Entertain-the-kids-during-the-boring-parts-of-church-while-subtly-reinforcing-LDS-and Scriptural-imagery arsenal: Val Chadwick Bagley’s Book of Mormon Seek and Ye Shall Find. This hidden picture puzzle book in the tradition of Waldo is the latest offering from Bagley, an LDS cartoonist. Bagley’s other works include My Book of Mormon ABC’s and Mission Mania: A Cartoonist’s View of the Best two Years of Life, among several others.
The pictures are bright, bold cartoons of intricate, dizzying Book of Mormon scenes, wherein goofy animals and anachronistic objects are camouflaged. Of course, this book won’t teach gospel principles or relate the scripture stories, but it does provide another opportunity to expose children to the scenes and characters from the Book of Mormon. I appreciate that as my children occupy themselves with this type of brain-teaser they are not only quiet during Sacrament Meeting, not only developing an eye for details, but also increasing their familiarity with the people and places from the scriptures.
There is no age recommendation provided, but all of my children remain engaged for several minutes each time we bring this book out. My six-year-old, and even the four-year-olds find most of the items easily, while my two-year-old is content to point to the various camels and antelope and proclaim, Doggy! I would imagine that a child over the age of eight or so would find the challenge too easy, but would probably enjoy it once or twice. The only real problem I have found is my triplets’ tendency to fight over who gets to hold the book, and to yell out what they find in the pictures, thereby defeating the purpose of a “quiet book.” These hazards are endemic to the children, however, and do not reflect poorly on the book’s distracting capabilities. Whether it’s sneering snakes surrounding Enos as he prays, or goggling goats marveling at the Liahona, there are enough grinning animals playing minor characters to engage and engross little ones at least until the Sacrament has been passed.