I can has Wimmelbild?
July 30, 2009 2:27 PM   Subscribe

The Adventures of the Black Hand Gang, are there other books that are similar?

We have the collection of all of Herr Press's stories, but we've almost finished them, and my son would love to have more books in the same genre. Basically the way the story works is that the text is on the left side, with a detailed overcrowded picture (Wimmelbild) on the right. A question is posed that can be solved by finding the answer in the picture.

I've not had any luck searching for anything similar, but I'd love to find something similar, and perhaps a little more modern. (For example, one of the clues was a reel-to-reel tape recorder, which is completely outside of the frame of reference for a child born almost 40 years after the story was written.)

Suggestions for books or genre/keywords would be greatly appreciated!
posted by dejah420 to Writing & Language (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
After my brother and I had exhausted that book (we each read it several times) we moved on to Choose Your Own Adventures. They pretty much fit the same niche.
posted by serazin at 4:31 PM on July 30, 2009

(Not to imply that they're nearly as charming.)
posted by serazin at 8:04 PM on July 30, 2009

Response by poster: I think he really digs the looking for things part. He get's his magnifying glass out and everything. He likes I Spy books too, but I was hoping there were other books out there that were more of a fusion between story and ispy.
posted by dejah420 at 10:31 PM on July 30, 2009

Best answer: Oh! How about Graeme Base or Kit Williams?
posted by serazin at 11:10 PM on July 30, 2009

Oh, I loved that book!

I don't know of anything similar with pictures, but have you considered the Encyclopedia Brown books? Each has about a dozen short mysteries that Encyclopedia invites the reader to help him solve. The books are still being written and whilst I can't vouch for the modern ones, the ones written in the 60s - 80s were my favourite books as a child. They inspired similar series like Hawkeye & Amy and T.A.C.K. -- not as good, but if you run out of Brown and are looking for more, they're reasonable.
posted by Georgina at 11:35 PM on July 30, 2009

Best answer: Hi again. I was thinking about the Black Hand Gang and doing some googling, and discovered that Julian Press, Hans' son, has written his own series of Wimmelbild mystery books. Four have been published in English so far, under the series name Get a Clue. Here's a brief review of the first book, including a comparison between Julian's illustration style and his father's, and you can do a "See Inside" on the ones at Amazon. They look like fun.
posted by Georgina at 3:00 AM on July 31, 2009

Best answer: The Usbourne Puzzle Adventure series.
posted by ninebelow at 6:21 AM on July 31, 2009

Best answer: The Usborne Time Traveler books don't have puzzles in them, but every page has many drawings on it, and there are lots of two-page spreads where hundreds of people are doing things, each of them with a purpose--a lot to look at, and little secrets to find. The story to each is that you, the reader, go back in time to Egypt, or the time of the Vikings, and learn about a few typical days and ceremonies.

I love the Black Hand Gang book that I have--where did you get more than the first one? The Usborne books immediately came to mind.
posted by interrobang at 8:08 AM on July 31, 2009

Response by poster: I'll have to check out the Usborne puzzle and time travel books, those look groovy.

Fantastic find on the Julian Press book, that looks just like his father's style.

Interrobang, I think the book we have is the only one where all of his weekly stories were collected. I'm not sure he published more than that one slim volume of 4 or 5 stories.

Graeme Base or Kit Williams - on the list to check, thanks!

Encyclopedia Brown: Yep, my husband still had his entire collection from when he was a kid.

These are great gang, thanks!
posted by dejah420 at 9:09 AM on July 31, 2009

Response by poster: A follow up: We got the first of the the Julian Press books in, and they are exactly what I was searching for. Still awaiting the Base and Williams books...but the Press books are a huge hit!
posted by dejah420 at 1:15 PM on August 6, 2009

Don't know if you're still looking, but my daugter recently got obsessed with the Geronimo Stilton books. They're a bit different from (and less awesome than) the Blackhand Gang, but have some cool, key features in common, namely: they're mysteries, and they include detailed drawings that sometimes advance the plot. I don't know where your son is on his literacy path, but the Geronimo Stilton books are particularly good for kids who can read to themselves because there's all this wacky typeface stuff in them.
posted by serazin at 2:09 PM on December 19, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks Serazin, I'll keep an eye out for some and see what he thinks. Thanks!
posted by dejah420 at 5:29 PM on December 19, 2009

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