Sunday, February 19, 2012

Press Here

Tullet, Hervé. 2011. PRESS HERE. San Francisco: Chronicle. ISBN 978-0811879545 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-6]

This unique French import is so simple, it’s sublime. It’s nearly perfect as a book that invites young readers to engage in both a tactile as well as a visual experience. With each page of dots, the reader is invited to “press” or otherwise touch the page in a way that creates new dot arrangements and moves the story forward. There is an illusion of magic as the dots change and shift across the page. In its way, it’s as effective as an iPad or videogame full of fun and surprise. The simple, imperfectly painted dots on the stark white background, along with the hand-lettered looking font suggest a friendly and intimate kind of homemade book. It relies on the child’s imagination for its power—the ultimate accomplishment for any picture book.

This book begs to be read aloud with a partner or the whole group—and of course with a volunteer acting out the necessary motions. And it bears repeated reading, too, and calls for imitation. Using colored dot stickers and a page divided in half, the children can create their own “before and “after” page with an action of their own. Then, display the pages or assemble a class book, so everyone can interact with the pages.

Other picture books featuring dots:
Crews, Donald. TEN BLACK DOTS. ISBN 978-0061857799
Lionni, Leo. LITTLE BLUE AND LITTLE YELLOW. ISBN 978-0375872907

By Sylvia M. Vardell

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