By Lori Ferraro
When I was a little girl, and we were going on a loooong road trip to visit my grandparents in Rochester (a six hour drive), there were a handful of essentials that were must haves in the backseat of our car:
- My crocheted afghan that grandma had made me.
- My never-ending ribbon of cheese and crackers thanks to Kraft Handi-Snacks
- My Invisible Ink Game & Quiz Books!
Who knew a book and a pen could lead to hours and hours of “by yourself enjoyment?” There was serious truth in the advertising of this awesome product.
With games like tic tac toe, hangman, mazes and a knockoff version of Battleship, the books were chock full of days’ worth of variety and fun.
When you tried to write with the “magic pen” on regular paper nothing at all would appear. But when you used it to answer questions or make a mark in your special quiz book, it revealed the answers for you as you played against yourself.
Invisible Ink books have been published by Lee Publications since the mid 70s and have kept their trademark retro look to this day – why mess with perfection?
The books came in a variety of topics depending on your interests; superheroes, sports and Mr. Mystery, which was a super-agent invisible ink mystery spy book.
Our family would stop three hours into our trip at the halfway point at a Stuckey’s truck stop to gas up, use the bathroom, get a pecan log roll, and for my brother Mike and I to stock up on another Invisible Ink book to carry us through our last leg of the trip.
I always loved the age recommendations on the cover of the books (“7 to 77” or “8 to 88” etc) – too true and how fitting for the original handheld gaming tablet.