Since I started this blog in the golden days of aught seven, I’ve prattled on and on about the elements that make for quality kids’ books. Memorable characters, beautiful artwork, compelling plot, and so on and so forth. Today, let’s get more basic than that. What about a book you can hand to almost any kid and it would make them smile? What about a book that will provide some of the most eager page turns you’ve ever seen? Press Here, from the wildly creative French author/illustrator HervÃ© Tullet, has that ability. Simple in appearance, genius in execution. Sure to go down as one of my favorite picture books of 2011.
It all starts with a yellow dot and an invitation from an unseen narrator, “Press here and turn the page.” The reader obliges, only to discover that their innocent act has made another yellow dot appear. Press again and a third comes to life. Then things start getting wild. Rub the dots, they change color. Tap them five times, more appear. Shake the book, they scramble. Tilt the book, they slide. And don’t even ask what clapping does. After a raucous climax, the book ends where it began – with a yellow dot and an invitation, “Want to do it all over again?”
I would contend that Press Here is actually more interactive than many digital picture books. Touching, rubbing, shaking, blowing, tilting – can you name an app that registers all those different actions?
The design of the book is also memorable. Press Here arrives Sans jacket and sporting old school Golden Books-esque raw cover edges that leave (gasp!) exposed gray cardboard. The page stock is thick, helping in the wear and tear department.
An interactive book for interactive times, Press Here will please all comers. A must see.
Review copy from publisher
Watch the Press Here book trailer:
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.