Spot the dog was created in 1980 by Eric Hill, and Where’s Spot? was the first book in which the little yellow puppy appeared. Hill was given the idea watching a television advert in which his son laughed at the funny pictures hiding behing flaps.
In Where’s Spot? Spot’s Mum Sally goes around the house looking for the wayward dog, whose dinner is ready. It’s laughably simple: each page asks a question about where he is, and when you open the flap he is very definitely not there.
The humour comes from the unlikely nature of the animals hiding in the various places. Would anyone really expect to find a hippopotamus in the piano? All the animal says is ‘no’ which leaves plenty of room for first adult and then child to fill in the description of what’s there.
All young children love flap books and this one is no exception. There is a reason it’s still popular after thirty-one years! The unexpected nature of what’s behind each flap and the simplicity of the text and drawings make it very appealing even from a very young age. There is even a twist at the end when we think we have found him but it turns out not to be.
There is nothing to this classic but a very good sense of what keeps children entertained – and that is precisely why it’s been selling successfully for thirty years.