The term “interactive book” usually brings to mind a pop-up book, or a ‘texture book’, with bumpy pages or animals with fuzz and fur. Press Here by Herve Tullet is neither. A new breed of children’s book, it combines simple colorful dots with simple clear directions that combine to spark and engage children’s imaginations on a whole new fantastic level. Kids, believe it or not, like being told what to do sometimes. They think it’s great. So press the yellow dot, follow the instructions, and head out on a constantly changing adventure that you’re sure to love.
What’s in Press Here?
There are no characters. None, nada. At first this can cause a bit of apprehension, after all, if there are no cute or funny characters what is my four year old daughter going to think? But with the development of something new happening on each page, the dots rolling to the left after you tilt it, or getting bigger when you clap, there really doesn’t need to be any actual characters, its so great on its own like it is one doesn’t even notice the absence of character, in fact, its almost like you become one yourself as you read along and find out what happens next.
Who Should Read It?
Press Here is a book that, developmentally speaking, is geared towards preschool through first and second graders, but its such a wonderful little book, kids of all ages and adults too, wont be able to help smiling and getting excited about reading it.
What are the Pictures Like?
It is a picture book after all, so one might be expecting lots and lots of illustration. Not so, quite the opposite in fact, and all the better for it. There’s only colored dots, on flat pages, most of which have white backgrounds. But don’t let that fool you, it turns out a little dot does a lot…
Where Does It Fit In?
Originally published in France in 2008, Press Here didn’t come out in the United States until 2011. So how did this little book work its way into the tightly sealed genre of interactive children’s books? Its something different but familiar at the same time. The concept of interactive books is certainly not new, but it seems we’ve lost sight of the concept of simplicity, and the wonders that it can hold. Too much is lost these days with books or electronic reading devices that blare out loud sounds, flash, pop up in your face, beep or otherwise. Press here is just dots, colors, and words, and with those three little things we’re reminded, especially children, that you don’t need a whole lot of frills to make a great book. Press Here allows children to use their imagination fully, and on their own.
Overall Feeling of Press Here
I loved it. I thought it was fantastic. I wasn’t sure at first, but every time I turned the page I got more and more hooked. The drawings, the simplicity, it urges readers to engage with their imagination on their own, not prompted by feel or folding pages that catch your eye immediately. It’s hard to find words to describe the wonders and excitement that it holds for children, but they will love it. Completely. If there’s one picture book you plan on purchasing anytime soon, make sure its Press Here.