Monday, June 6, 2011

Book review: "Press Here" by Herve' Tullet

There are so many excellent kids’ books flooding the market (Dr. Seuss comes to mind, as do the Bright Baby board book series), that sometimes it’s hard to sit down and pick one to write about – or, in this case, gush over. The truth is, how good a book is really depends on the level and stage of development your child is in. And I’ve never found one single book that holds an older child’s attention as well as intrigues an infant more than Herve’ Tullet’s book Press Here.

Clever and effortless, Tullet’s work sets the stage for fun and interactive story time. Joey and the boys alike request it multiple times each day; Joey does so by pointing and babbling in its direction, whereas Jack and Brock say, “Mom, we wanna read that fun dot book.”

Author and illustrator of several children’s books, Tullet mixes simple art with even simpler instructions. But the reaction is anything but ordinary.

Each page displays bright, colorful dots with a sentence or two of instruction, such as “Five taps on the red …” The result of completing the instructions appears when you turn the page to find that the dots have either changed color, multiplied or moved.

The grandkids huddle around Grandpa for yet another re-telling of their new favorite book.

My three-year-olds enjoy it because they’re old enough to understand that what they have done has created a change but still too young to truly figure it out. They are intrigued each time we turn the page, even when they know what’s coming. Joey (who is now 15 months) doesn’t quite get that she has affected something, but is so enamored with the beautiful colors and interaction that it doesn’t matter. It’s truly a perfect book for children of any age.

My only complaint is that it’s not available as a board book. Joey is still too rough on books to allow her to play with this on her own, and if she had it her way we’d read it all day long and only allow for sippy-cup-refill breaks.


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