Press Here is very original, very unique and like no other book that we have on our bookshelf. It’s not a storybook, more an interactive game book which is best read aloud especially when you read it to a group of children. It isn’t the easiest book to describe but here goes….!
The Book: One yellow dot on a white background on the first page becomes two dots when you press on it and turn the page. The dots multiply, change colour and get bigger as you follow the instructions to press, rub, tap, shake and tilt the book. When the white background becomes black you need to start blowing so that you can turn it back to white before you start clapping! At the end of the book you are asked if you would like to do it all again.
The first time I read Press Here to my daughter she kept giving me ‘is this book completely crazy?’ looks but she did everything she was told! The second time she really got into it (especially the blowing!). Then Daddy read it! The final question is always answered with a yes, my daughter always wants to ‘do’ the book again!
Press Here is a sturdy hardback with thick pages to withstand the tapping and shaking. The use of colour is appealing on a predominately white background and there is a sense of anticipation before you turn the next page. It is a great book for introducing Early Years’ concepts – colour recognition and mixing for science and counting and patterns for maths. Older children could also have lots of fun making their own interactive version of the book. It’s a fun book to use as an icebreaker when teaching or reading to a new group of children and fantastic to read with non native English speakers as the commands are very simple. I read it to a group of four to six year olds in the summer and a day later I read The Mixed Up Chameleon by Eric Carle. I asked how the chameleon would change back to being a chameleon and one four year old stood up and shook the book. The older children laughed but the chameleon did change back to normal. The Press Here ‘magic’ worked for the chameleon too!
Press Here is a fun book that gives a very unique, interactive reading experience. The tapping, shaking, blowing and clapping make it a great book for sharing and it is fascinating to see children’s reactions when you read the book to them for the first time. My experience is that children have been intrigued by the originality and on the first reading have looked at me for permission to really shake or blow the book, not behaviour that is usually encouraged! The original French version ‘A Book’ has been translated into several languages, interestingly the English, German and Spanish titles give more of a hint of the interactive nature of the book.
Lots of fun but definitely not a bedtime book!
Age Range: 3+
Author / Illustrator: Hervé Tullet