Press Here by Herve Tullet is, quite simply, brilliant. It's an interactive picture book, despite having no flaps, tabs, or electronic elements. Instead, Tullet asks kids to suspend belief, and participate by pressing on dots, shaking the book, blowing on the book, etc. Each page includes a simple command, like:
"Press here and turn the page."
"Try shaking the book...just a little bit."
When the reader turns the page, his "actions" have caused something to happen (such as a previously ordered set of colored dots now being disordered, sprinkled about the page).
Although the text is brief, Tullet uses a friendly, conversational tone, preceding many of the instructions with "Well done!" or "Great!". I think that this friendly tone goes a long way towards explaining the appeal of this book. And let me tell you, the appeal is undeniable. Press Here is a great book for preschoolers, or older kids, or even adults. It beguiles readers of all ages into participating. I read this for the first time without a child around, but I still blew on the dots where instructed, and so on.
The illustrations in Press Here are quite simple. Each page has one or more colored dots, most about the size of a quarter, ever so slightly varied in shape and texture, just like real swirls of paint. The dots reminded me of the ones in Leo Lionni's Little Blue and Little Yellow, though Tullet's dots are not personified. Tullet sticks mostly to primary colors, and uses plenty of white space, giving Press Here a cheerful tone. There's no dust jacket, and the glossy pages are a bit thicker than those of most picture books, reinforcing the notion that this is a book to be played with, not passively read.
Press Here is inventive and engaging. It's a bit of a throwback, in the sense that it doesn't require any app-like gadgets, or flaps, or textures. But I think that's what makes it so lovely. Press Here encourages kids (and adults) to have fun with books, and to use their imaginations. What more can one ask of a picture book? Press Here would make a wonderful last-minute Christmas (or other holiday) gift for any household with kids over the age of 3. Highly recommended.
Publisher: Chronicle Books (@ChronicleBooks)
Publication Date: March 30, 2011
Source of Book: Bought it
Nominated for 2011 Cybils in Fiction Picture Books by: Deb Marshall
Also reviewed by: morninglightmama | Natalia | rebeccareid | scope notes
© 2011 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).