Back in the early 1970s, parents discovered a great way to help their kids beat backseat boredom during long family road trips — invisible ink books! Much to Mom and Dad’s delight, these little 48-page books that came with a Magic Pen that revealed hidden answers made those long, hot summer road trips so much more fun than a game of Punch Buggy.

Making Magic

Lee Publications started making invisible ink books in 1971. At first, they only had one Yes & Know Invisible Ink Quiz and Game Book. However, that one book soon became wildly popular and a variety of other Yes & Know books on a variety of topics including history, sports, animals, and outer space quickly followed.

Some of the early Yes & Know books.
Image: Fair Use

Other types of invisible ink books were also produced at this time, as well. One of those was the Mr. Mystery book where the reader plays amateur detective and uses the magic pen to find clues, decode secret messages, and foil attempts at prison breaks.

Eventually, the invisible ink books would grow to over 200 titles and included licensed cartoon and TV characters from Disney and Marvel, as well as SpongeBob Squarepants and Dora the Explorer. And even though the trivia in Yes & Know books would be updated with the times, they still retained that cool retro 1970s look.

Stuckey’s Is Where the Magic Began for Many

Did you know? Yes & Know books became as synonymous with Stuckey’s as our famous Pecan Log Rolls and kitschy souvenirs. For nearly 50 years, folks from nine to 109 have been stopping into Stuckey’s on their annual road trips and picking up one of the little books to keep themselves entertained on those long road trips. They became a road-trip tradition for many kids and their families looking for things to do on a long car ride. Even Stuckey’s CEO Stephanie Stuckey fondly remembers Yes & Know books being a big part of her family’s road trip experience.

The Stuckey family having some road trip fun.
Image: Stephanie Stuckey

Disappearing Act?

As a result, you can imagine Stephanie’s shock when the Stuckey’s warehouse sent her a notice saying that they were down to the last carton of invisible ink books and they wouldn’t be sending anymore. As it turns out, Lee Publications was sold in 2020 to Australian book publisher Hinkler Books, whose website claims that they sell books “in 38 languages throughout 77 different countries. So, wherever you live, you can be assured that a Hinkler book will be on hand to entertain your family every day of the year.”

In this excerpt from a Yes & Know sports trivia and games book, you could even go bowling in the back seat during a family road trip! How cool is that?
Image: Fair Use

According to a spokesperson from Lee Publications’ Facebook page, Hinkler said they have plans to launch the product under the same name, but the timeframe to do so was not clear.

Will Stuckey’s sell invisible inkbooks again? It seems for now, the answers remain invisible — or at least unclear. However, as soon as they are revealed, Stuckey’s will keep you updated. In the meantime, stop in your nearest Stuckey’s location and get the last ones, before they disappear altogether.

Stuckey’s still carries all the other road trip snacks and souvenirs you remember us for, so while you’re there, browse our wide selection of pecan treats and classic candy like the world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll or our tasty Pecan Pralines and mouthwatering Pecan Divinity (Yep, we’re making them ourselves again!).  And everyone from eight to 108 loves our Stuckey’s branded t-shirts, caps and coffee mugs, so pick up a few for the folks back home.

Along with your Yes & Know books, be sure to get our Stuckey’s Road Trip Revival Gift Box for even more road trip fun! Only from stuckeys.com!

Remember you can also make a Stuckey’s stop over at stuckeys.com and have all of our popular pecan treats and other Stuckey’s merchandise delivered right to your home. 

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!