The I-SPY books are spotters' guides written for British children, and particularly successful in the 1950s and 1960s in their original form and again when relaunched by Michelin in 2009 after a seven-year gap in publishing.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
The I-SPY books are a series of around forty small volumes that have sold hundreds of thousands of copies each, totalling sales of 25 million worldwide by 2010.Each book in the I-Spy series covers a different subject, such as I-SPY Cars, I-SPY on the Pavement, I-SPY Churches, I-SPY on a Train Journey, and so on. As children spot the objects listed, they record the event in the book and gain points, varying according to how unusual the sight. In the early years of the series, completed books could be sent to Charles Warrell, (known as Big Chief I-SPY) for a feather and order of merit. The children participating in the game were known as The I-SPY Tribe, and by 1953 the I-SPY Tribe had half a million members.
Charles Warrell was an English schoolteacher, and creator of the I-Spy books, a series of spotters' guides written for British children and first published in 1949. In his role as creator and publisher of the books, Warrell was known pseudonymously as Big Chief I-Spy.
The company was supposedly run by a Red Indian chief called Big Chief I-Spy. The original Big Chief I-Spy was Charles Warrell, a former head master who created I-Spy towards the end of his working life. He retired in 1956, but lived until 1995 when he died at the age of 106.After Warrell's retirement his assistant Arnold Cawthrow became the second Big Chief, and served in this role until 1978. For part of this time he also worked as an antiques dealer in Islington. He died in 1993, and is commemorated by a stone plaque placed on the outside of the Boatmen's Rooms, the house where he spent some of his last years in Deal, Kent.
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the Pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.
Islington is a district in Greater London, England, and part of the London Borough of Islington. It is a mainly residential district of Inner London, extending from Islington's High Street to Highbury Fields, encompassing the area around the busy High Street, Upper Street, Essex Road, and Southgate Road to the east.
Deal is a town in Kent, England, which lies on the border of the North Sea and the English Channel, eight miles north-east of Dover and eight miles south of Ramsgate. It is a former fishing, mining and garrison town. Close to Deal is Walmer, a possible location for Julius Caesar's first arrival in Britain.
The books were originally self-published in 1948by Charles Warrell but, after a brief period when they were published by the Daily Mail (the initial four being At the Circus, Secret Codes, Dogs and In the Country), they were taken over by the now defunct News Chronicle newspaper and based in the paper's building in Bouverie Street. The regular I-SPY column, which appeared in the News Chronicle, reverted to the Daily Mail when the News Chronicle ceased publication, and continued to appear until the late 1980s. The books have had various publishers over the years including the Dickens Press, a company set up to continue the book publishing interests of the 'News Chronicle', and Polystyle Publications, a publisher of children's comics.
The News Chronicle was a British daily newspaper. It ceased publication on 17 October 1960, being absorbed into the Daily Mail. Its offices were in Bouverie Street, off Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 8DP, England.
Polystyle Publications Ltd was a British publisher of children's comics and books. Incorporated on 12 May 1960, the company was dissolved in 1997 due to insolvency.
The books became very popular, with print runs well into six figures. Big Chief I-Spy had a succession of assistants, usually known as "Hawkeye". In the early 1970s, this position was held by Ralph Mills. Earlier assistants included Max Heinz and John Tagholm. In the 1980s, following a short-lived third Big Chief, Robin Tucek, David Bellamy replaced Big Chief I-Spy as the person to whom completed books were sent, and the earlier Red Indian connections were quietly dropped.
David James Bellamy is an English author, broadcaster, environmental campaigner and botanist. He has lived in County Durham since 1960.
Michelin Travel Publications acquired and published the series from 1991 until 2002 when they effectively ceased publication, there were ad-hoc sales after that date to clear stocks.
Michelin is a French tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is the second largest tyre manufacturer in the world after Bridgestone and larger than both Goodyear and Continental. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Tigar, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands. Michelin is also notable for its Red and Green travel guides, its roadmaps, the Michelin stars that the Red Guide awards to restaurants for their cooking, and for its company mascot Bibendum, colloquially known as the Michelin Man.
I-Spy books were relaunched by Michelin Travel Publications on Monday 7 December 2009, with 12 new titles and a further 12 in Spring 2010. The Bookseller announced the new launch in its 9 October 2009 issue with an interview with Michelin Commercial Director Ian Murray.Mr Murray confirmed that the initial 12 titles will include I Spy Birds, Cars, Trees, On a Car Journey and On a Train Journey. The new I-Spy titles are faithful to the original concept but are fully updated and include all new colour images.
The relaunch of the books and subsequent multiple expansions of the title list suggested that their popularity is being enjoyed by a new generation of children.
I-Spy 6d Series
These followed the same basic format as the early spotter books, as well as keeping the concept of a Big Chief I-Spy, but were issued in a more standard ‘portrait’ format 4” by 5” (13cm by 10cm). Pocket sized, with thinner covers, each I-Spy title had fifty pages or so of pen drawings and descriptive text. The Daily Mail dropped their involvement after the previous spotterbook series, and the new look books were launched in conjunction with The News Chronicle newspaper around 1951. By 1952 the first six of the new titles were in print, with four more planned. The series was in print until 1966, with older titles refreshed every so often and updated.
The News Chronicle was taken over by The Daily Mail in 1960 and closed, but the I-SPY books were by now so popular that The Daily Mail decided to re-associate themselves with the publication once more. The covers were redesigned to remove the News Chronicle name but The Daily Mail logo was only seen inside the books. Around 1963 even this was removed and the titles were simply published by The Dickens Press (who printed The Mail). With all these changes, up to five distinct editions of some titles exist.
I-Spy Colour Series
A companion range of 1/- books, the I-Spy Colour Series was the same size and actually had the same number of pages as their 6d cousins, but used better, thicker quality paper and some inside pages in full colour. Launched probably in 1952 with the first two titles, the colour series issued two new titles each year for a while. The colour books were all natural history subjects and the aim seems to have been to emulate similar but more expensive offerings from publishers like Ladybird and Observers. Eight titles were issued with the News Chronicle name, and only with the last did they move into more familiar I-Spy territory with In The Garden. When the News Chronicle closed, four further colour titles followed under the Dickens Press name. These were new editions of titles which had originally appeared in the 6d black and white series but been discontinued. The last title came out in 1963 and the 12 books were never numbered. The listing below is the order in which the titles were released. The covers of some of the titles were later updated, and then appeared without the News Chronicle logo.
I-Spy Super Series
A larger format launched around 1965 that was very short lived.
Published from 1967 to 1982. The 1974 price was 12p.
Published from 1983 to 1985.
There are now 37 individual titles and three boxed sets (one of which is made up of 70 individual cards) published by Michelin.
Michelin's initial 12 titles after the series relaunch in December 2009
Titles published in May 2010
Titles published in April 2011
Titles published in Summer 2011
Boxed sets published in November 2011
Spoof series released by HarperCollins in 2016.
The Bronx Zoo is a zoo located within Bronx Park in the Bronx, a borough of New York City. It is one of the largest zoos in the United States by area, comprising 265 acres (107 ha) of park lands and naturalistic habitats separated by the Bronx River. On average, the zoo has 2.15 million visitors each year as of 2009.
Noggin the Nog is a popular British children's character appearing in his own TV series and series of illustrated books, created by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. The TV series is considered a cult classic from the golden age of British children's television. Noggin himself is a simple, kind and unassuming King of the Northmen in a roughly Viking-age setting, with various fantastic elements such as dragons, flying machines and talking birds.
Gerald Malcolm Durrell, was a British naturalist, zookeeper, conservationist, author, and television presenter. He founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Jersey Zoo on the Channel Island of Jersey in 1959. His memoirs of his family's years living in Greece were adapted into the television series The Durrells, and he wrote a number of books his life as an animal collector and enthusiast, the most famous being My Family and Other Animals. He was the youngest brother of novelist Lawrence Durrell.
The Saint Louis Zoological Park, commonly known as the Saint Louis Zoo, is in Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri. It is recognized as a leading zoo in animal management, research, conservation, and education. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Admission is free based on a public subsidy from a cultural tax district, the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District (ZMD); fees are charged for some special attractions. A special feature is the 2 ft narrow gauge Emerson Zooline Railroad with passenger trains pulled by Chance Rides C.P. Huntington locomotives that encircle the zoo, stopping at the more popular attractions.
I spy is a guessing game where the spy, or it, says "I spy with my little eye ..." and players have to guess the object the Spy saw.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, formerly known as Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, is a zoo and safari park located at Whipsnade, near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England. It is one of two zoos that are owned by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.
Ernest John Morris, OBE was a British television presenter. He was known for his children's programmes for the BBC on the topic of zoology, most notably Animal Magic and for narrating the imported, Canadian-produced Tales of the Riverbank series of stories about Hammy the Hamster, Roderick the Rat, GP the Guinea Pig, and their assorted animal friends along a riverbank.
Brooke Bond is a brand-name of tea owned by Unilever, formerly an independent tea-trading and manufacturing company in the United Kingdom, known for its PG Tips brand and its Brooke Bond tea cards.
Terri Irwin is an American and Australian naturalist, conservationist, author, and the owner of Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland. A native Oregonian from the United States, she began an independent animal rehabilitation center for injured predator mammals at age 22 while working for her family's trucking business.
Knowsley Safari Park is a zoological park and tourist attraction in the Knowsley area of Merseyside, England. Knowsley Safari Park is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). The safari park contributes to conservation and research through links with conservation projects and its links with universities in Liverpool, Chester and Manchester.
Richard Sidney Richmond Fitter was a British naturalist and author. He was an expert on wildflowers and authored several guides for amateur naturalists.
Abraham Dee Bartlett was a British taxidermist and an expert on captive animals. A superintendent of the London Zoo, he was a prominent observer of animal life and a zoologist who became a popular authority on wildlife. He brought the London Zoo into prominence and was associated with many naturalists including Charles Darwin.
Zoo Quest is a series of multi-part nature documentaries broadcast on the BBC Television Service between 1954 and 1963. It was the first major programme to feature David Attenborough.
Frank Howard Buck was an American hunter, animal collector, and author, as well as a film actor, director, and producer. Beginning in the 1910s he made many expeditions into Asia for the purpose of hunting and collecting exotic animals, bringing over 100,000 live specimens back to the United States and elsewhere for zoos and circuses and earning a reputation as an adventurer. He co-authored seven books chronicling or based on his expeditions, beginning with 1930's Bring 'Em Back Alive, which became a bestseller. Between 1932 and 1943 he starred in seven adventure films based on his exploits, most of which featured staged "fights to the death" with various wild beasts. He was also briefly a director of the San Diego Zoo, displayed wild animals at the 1933–34 Century of Progress exhibition and 1939 New York World's Fair, toured with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and co-authored an autobiography, 1941's All in a Lifetime. The Frank Buck Zoo in Buck's hometown of Gainesville, Texas is named after him.
Stephen James Backshall is a BAFTA-winning English naturalist, writer and television presenter, best known for BBC TV's Deadly 60. His other BBC work includes being part of the expedition teams in Lost Land of the Tiger, Lost Land of the Volcano and Lost Land of the Jaguar. He has worked for the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel. He has published three novels for children and several non-fiction works.
The Observer's Books were a series of small, pocket-sized books, published by Frederick Warne & Co in the United Kingdom from 1937 to 2003. They covered a variety of topics including hobbies, art, history and wildlife. The aim of these books was to interest the observer and they have also been popular amongst children. Some of them have become collector's items. For the dedicated collector this could be a lifetime's work as there are over 800 variations, some of which are now rare. The values of the books can vary from 50 pence to hundreds of pounds.
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Martin Lacey is a circus ringmaster, company director and trainer of wild animals. He trained most of the tigers that were used in the Esso television advertisements in the 1970s
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