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The transformative power of the cornfield: magic in the Marvelous Land of Oz

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Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone: 01/19/18

cover art

Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by Hiro Kamigaki is an I-spy and Where's Waldo type children's puzzle book. Originally published in Japan as 迷路探偵ピエール ~うばわれた秘宝を探せ! (Meiro tantei piēru ~ ubawa reta hihō o sagase!), the book features 15 full spread pages for searching and solving.

At first glance, the book is a simple find the characters type book. Where is Pierre? Where is the thief? Were are the people he's stolen from? And so forth. As one grows familiar with the pages and the typical hiding places for people and things, other recurring details appear: start and finish signs.

Each page is, in fact, a maze. The mazes increase in difficulty, from the first one — being a simple, straightforward path through a garage, to a gorgeous one through a sky filled with hot air balloons.

I read this book as I was chasing down some tangential ideas for my crossing the cornfield research for the road narrative project. Nina Laden's Are We There Yet? had confirmed my hunch that there could be a connection between the cornfield and the Minotaur. While looking for other books that brought these two elements together, my search brought up Kamigaki's book.

Though this book does include a city wide — world-wide maze, these mazes serve no plot purpose. These mazes are for the reader only. And that's fine. It's a beautifully crafted book; it's just not relevant to my project.

Three stars

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