Where's Waldo? In Bethel, of Course!

Illustrator Martin Handford, the man behind the mind-boggling Where's Waldo? books, is "a shy genius who is very dedicated to his work and has no interest in publicity, according to his publisher."  So claims The Independent's Paul Bignell about the famous creator of one of the most successful examples of contemporary Wimmelbilderbuch, a German word meaning "teeming picture book." to sit on a child's bookshelf. Nonetheless, here follows a bit of PR about a "shy genius" and how his iconic children’s book character in the red-and-white-striped shirt and black-rimmed specs will be hiding ...in Bethel, of course!...and how you can find him to win some neat Waldo prizes.  

Once again, in celebration of Waldo’s longevity and popularity, his American publisher, Candlewick Press, is teaming up with the American Booksellers Association and two hundred and fifty independent bookstores across the country for some hide-and-seek fun to encourage communities to patronize their local businesses. Throughout this July, Waldo will be hiding in Byrd’s Books and 24 other Bethel businesses, and it's your job to find him. 

Just pick up a Where’s Waldo? passport at ANY participating business or download a copy at byrdsbooks.com, and start hunting. Get your passport stamped or signed for each Waldo you spot. Once you’ve found Waldo at 10 different businesses, head back to Byrd’s Books to pick up your prizes — a Waldo sticker and a coupon for $1 off any Waldo book in the store. Waldo hunters who get their passports stamped or signed at 20 or more businesses are invited to attend a gala Where’s Waldo? party, which will be held on Wednesday, July 31st at 5:30pm at Byrd’s Books. Collecting store stamps or signatures at 20 or more businesses will also entitle diligent seekers entry into a grand-prize drawing on July 31st, with the top prize being a copy of Where’s Waldo? Destination: Everywhere!, a tribute to Waldo’s many decades of wandering. (Note: this year the top two prizes MUST be present to win.)

To make things a little more challenging, Waldo’s nemesis, Odlaw, will also be hiding in Byrd’s Books. The other participating merchants are A New Beginning, Alice's Flower Shop, The Athlete's Source, Bethel Cycle Works, Bethel Music Center, Carlson Physical Therapy, Daily Fare, English Apothecary, Escape Salon & Spa, Famous Pizza, First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker, Town of Bethel, CT, Fix Your Phone Now,The Gift Cottage, Molten Java, Paul Morton Jewelers, Peachwave, Petvalu, Quality Gem, Silver Touch, Stony Hill Hardware, Tom's Paint & Wallpaper, The Toy Room, UK Gourmet, and Varano Bakery.

Martin Handford’s collections of crowd scenes took the world by storm in the late 1980s, and since then they have held a cherished spot on bookstore shelves, highlighted foremost in Byrd's Books' extensive children's collection.  There are now over 72 million Waldo books in print worldwide, and they’ve been translated into over thirty languages. An entire generation has grown up searching for Waldo. There is no charge to participate, and the hunt lasts for the entire month of July. For more information, go to byrdsbooks.com or call (203) 730 2973.   

Byrd's Books is located at 178 Greenwood Avenue, adjacent to The Toy Room and the nearby landmarked Opera House, across the street from the Bethel Public Library. The popular bookshop is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10:00am to 6:00pm, Sundays 12:00 noon to 4:00pm. Byrd's Books'  has on-street parking, and municipal parking is available at the Bethel Public Library across the street and the "Old Train Station" which is where Broken Symmetry now resides. There are private lots nearby. Happy hunting!


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