OSKALOOSA—Where in Oskaloosa is Waldo? The years-old mystery task popular with children has been re-invented locally by the Book Vault.
Book Vault Manager April Gorski said the independent book store has partnered with Candlewick Publishing—the company that publishes the Where’s Waldo series—to create the business-friendly game intended to draw shoppers downtown.
“[Candlewick] Award[s] the opportunity for 250 independent bookstores in the United States to do this if you apply to do it and we were selected again,” Gorski said. “This is our second time of doing it. What they do, then, is they send us a little kit and it helps us promote this to our neighboring businesses.”
Gorski said the well-recognized image of Waldo, in the form of a 6-inch standing cut-out figure, will be placed in 23 Oskaloosa businesses, along with The Book Vault.
“[Businesses] can hide him. It can be super simple, it can be super hard, whatever they want to do. He might move every day in a store, it’s up to the store owners,” Gorski said. “The idea is that children will come to the Book Vault and pick up a passport that lists all of the businesses that are participating. They will go—between July 1 and July 31—to as many businesses as they can and spot the Waldo and the business will sign or stamp or whatever they have decided to do, to their passport to show that [the children] did do this.”
Children that have found Waldo in at least 10 businesses, and have the stamps to prove it, can return to the Book Vault for a small reward. For those eagle-eyed Waldo hunters that have filled their passport with at least 20 stamps, they will be entered into a drawing for prizes. The drawing will be held at an event at the Book Vault on Aug. 11.
Not all businesses with a Waldo figure in them are located in the downtown area, Gorski added, although there are many that are.
“If a kid can only walk to the downtown, he can probably get 10 right down here,” she said. “But if he has a parent or someone who will drive him to those other stores, then he can get 20.”
Gorski said the Where’s Waldo search is a fun event.
“It’s for the kids, it’s for the community,” she said. “We had done it maybe about three years ago and since then, we since then have had so many request it again. So they had a good time with it.”
Herald staff writer Angie Holland can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @OskyAngie.