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By the Book: A Novel Stacking Game


Age: 8 years and up

MSRP (CAD): $24.99

MSRP (USD): $19.99

Production Status: In Stores

View on Manufacturer's Webpage


Early Feedback

A fun puzzle! We especially love the book theme and how it adds a concrete context for the puzzle solving. Your task is to fit an assortment of books (up to 12 of them) between the shelves. And, sometimes you'll need to leave room for the cat, too. The catch is that the books are what holds up the top shelf. Each book is a unique size, so you'll need to arrange them carefully so they all fit. There's even a bubble leveler to make sure you've done a good job.




I usually like puzzles where you have to figure out a solution and that they start off easier and get harder. This one is easy to follow instructions and the pieces are well made. I like that it comes with a level to see if it is flat. The problem with this toy is with almost all of the puzzles, there are multiple ways of solving it instead of just one. Usually you can just balance the shelf with a couple of the books and then you just throw the rest of the books on the shelf. I didn't like that there were lots of ways to solve the puzzles and this made the puzzle less interesting. It looked really good but I didn't like it like I did the other puzzle games I've played.



By the book is a good stacking game, but you need a flat surface to play. It has to be exactly flat. It is hard to put away in the case.



The cat is cute, and the level is a good idea, but since my table/ floor is not completely level it didn't really work, although I could tell from looking at it if it was even. The solutions were easy to figure out and didn't take long even for the harder levels, but I often got different answers than they came up with. I would recommend this toy for younger ages.


Allison M.

I had great hopes for this puzzle. My kids love these puzzle challenges and the pieces are really well made and look really cute. I love the idea of having a level to use in the puzzle. When going through the puzzles though I was disappointed. I'm used to having just one way to solve the puzzle but usually there was lots of ways and it was really just about balancing between a couple of books and then putting the rest of the books on the shelf however you like. I also struggled every time we put the toy away since the pieces have to be arranged in a very specific way to fit back in the box and otherwise you can not close the box. The toy looks really good but if I was interested in a good puzzle game that would challenge the kids and that they would want to keep playing, then I would choose another game.

Joyce S.

It was too simple for my daughter (15), I think it should be rated 6+. I also prefer one solution to the puzzle.


Manufacturer Description

Balance your books! In this original 3D puzzle, stack up to 12 differently shaped books - and one clever cat - so that the upper shelflies evenly across the top. Use the special included level to make sure everything is perfectly aligned. Master all 40 challenges and you're on a level above the rest!

Model Number

Item #8403