Locals on the Lookout for Waldo

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By Samantha SLAYBACK

hat’s red and white and hard to find? A certain beanie-clad explorer who’s hiding all over La Cañada this July in honor of “Where’s Waldo?” Month.

The elusive Waldo has been wandering since the first searching book was published in 1987. Since then numerous intricately illustrated books have been dedicated to Waldo, and he’s now even earned his own month.

“The event was created in celebration of Waldo’s longevity and popularity by the publisher Candlewick Press that has teamed up with the American Booksellers Association and 300 independent bookstores all across the country to engage children as well as to encourage communities to patronize their local businesses,” explained Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse Event Manager Gail Mishkin. “It is geared towards children but, because of the nature of the activity, involves and is fun for the entire family.”

The bookstore has been participating in this contest for the last several years, and this year various other La Cañada businesses will be participating as well. Penguin’s, La Cañada Pet Grooming, Georgee’s Pizza, Melody’s Nails, La Cañada Flintridge Library and Round Table Pizza, among many others, will have Waldo hiding out somewhere in their stores. A full list of participating businesses is printed inside the Where’s Waldo Passport, which can be picked up from the bookstore during business hours.

The fun begins when participants start searching for Waldo all around La Cañada. Once Waldo is found, that person will receive a stamp or a signature from that location in their passport. Businesses are allowed to relocate Waldo from day to day within the store to ensure people don’t give away his hiding place.

“When participants collect 10 different store stamps or signatures on their passports, they can come to the bookstore and enter a book raffle,” explained Mishkin. “When participants collect 20 store stamps or signatures, they can come to the store to get a button and a discount coupon for a Waldo book, plus enter a drawing for a boxed set of six ‘Where’s Waldo?’ books and other books.”

On July 31, Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse will be holding its Waldo raffle. The grand prize winner will receive the set of six “Where’s Waldo?” books, and runners up will be given tote bags full of children’s books. Mishkin also said that in addition to the raffle, story time staff member Tyler Biddle will be dressing up as Waldo in the store during the day. There will also be one final big hunt for Waldo standees throughout the bookstore; this hunt will be just for fun, not for prizes.

Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse is located at 1010 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge, at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway. For more information, call (818) 790-0717.