Thursday, April 19, 2012
PRESS HERE by Hervè Tullet
In this digital age, it is not terribly surprising that “plain old” picture books are being tossed aside for interactive ebooks in which, letters glow, pictures move, and characters come to life. However, for those naysayers out there who claim that printed books are not nearly as entertaining or interactive as their technological brethren, I recommend Press Here.
Hervè Tullet’s imaginative and engaging picture book, originally published in French, is practically flying out of bookstores everywhere. Tullet greets his eager readers with a single yellow dot in a sea of white, and one word, “Ready?”
Seriously, what child wouldn’t be?
After turning the page you see the same yellow dot, and a simple request, “Press here and turn the page.” When you turn the page you see that the single yellow dot has turned into two yellow dots, and you’re asked to press the same dot again. So you do as you’re told, and you turn the page to find that there are now three yellow dots. Tullet congratulates you on your work so far, and urges you on, ”Perfect. Rub the dot on the left… gently.” You rub the dot on the left, turn the page, and see that the yellow dot on the left is now red.
On and on, Tullet has his readers pressing here, tapping there, shaking the book up and down, tilting it to and fro, blowing on the pages to move the dots this way and that, and clapping to make the dots grow.
Kids LOVE this book, because they feel as though they are in charge of something magical! Little do they know that they are actually learning their left from their right, as well as practicing how to follow directions.
Tullet’s dots are colorful and imperfect, which gives the reader the feeling that each page has been freshly finger-painted just for them. And to make the book even more kid-friendly, it is published with a hard cardboard cover, which provides the sturdy casing needed to meet the demands of all that pressing, poking, and shaking.
A lot of adults do not understand this book. In fact, a number of big-name publishers actually rejected Tullet’s ingenious proposal. Thankfully, the fabulous and über creative Chronicle Books, located in San Francisco, saw Press Here for what it was–a silly but brilliant text that children could not only learn from but actually interact with.
While Press Here may have some adults scratching their heads, it is an automatic favorite with little ones everywhere!