A new crop of activity books provides hours of creative fun — perfect for long road trips!
— "Tangles: Amazing Zendoodles to Color and Draw"
by Abby Huff, illustrated by Angelika Scudamore et al.
A bevy of starter images gets you decorating hedgehogs, dragons, alphabets, and seashells with intricate repeating patterns, which transform into templates for coloring. Ages 9 to 12, Capstone; $10
— "We're Going on a Bear Hunt: An Adventure Field Guide"
by Bear Hunt Films Ltd.
Start outside with "field activities" that will have you searching for species of evergreens, things that crawl and fly, and phenomena like rainbows. Then continue your research in your home/lab with a host of nature projects. Ages 6 to 9, Candlewick; $14
— "The Incredible Pirate Activity Book"
by David Antram
Mix-and-match games, mazes, word searches, and drawing challenges — they're all in here, waiting for you to swashbuckle them into submission. The 96 pages of fun just might be enough to get you to Grandma's and back for multiple visits. Ages 7 and up, Book House; $8
— "Look! What Do You See?: An Art PuzzleBook of American & Chinese Songs"
by Xu Bing, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander
The entire content of this book is a puzzle! First you'll need to figure out the artist's ingenious cipher, made up of words that look like Chinese characters. Then you'll be inspired to work up your own messages. Ages 7 to 10, Penguin Young Readers Group; $19
— "The Big Sticker Book of Bugs"
by Yuval Zommer
For the sticker fiend in your family, this interactive book offers 500 reusable peel-and-press pond bugs, dragonflies, snails, and their kind. You can also design butterfly wings, sketch picnic foods to attract ants, and design termite towers. Ages 5 and up, Thames & Hudson; $15
— "Iggy Peck's Big Project Book for Amazing Architects"
by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
School-age builders will learn how to stock a drafter's toolbox and discover the way architects use balance. Then apply this knowledge to dreaming up your own town full of bridges, parks, and more. Ages 5 to 7, Abrams Books for Young Readers; $15