When I first picked up Press Here by Herve Tullet (Handprint Books, March 2011), I was unimpressed. It is a book with dots on every page. What’s so creative about that? I scratched my head, wondering why this picture book got such raving reviews. Then I introduced it to my four-year-old. Raisin loved it, and he couldn’t resist showing it to Grandma and Grandpa when they came to visit. At one point, there were three adults and one preschooler surrounding the book, all of us blowing on the pages, then clapping frantically, and laughing the whole time.
I looked around at the delighted faces in the little circle and realized: this is a genius of a book.
It’s a game in the form of a book. Like a book app, Press Here builds on the reader’s action. You are instructed to press the dot, and the next page shows new dots. You are to shake the book, and the next page shows that the dots have come out of their lines. You are told to blow on the dot and the next page shows a dot blown off center. Because it is a book, you could of course choose not follow the instructions and therefore laugh when you see it doesn’t matter. But for a young child (and, apparently, at least three adults), it’s fun how the instructions bring the reader into the book. Raisin wanted to read it again and again.
And to tell you the truth, I didn’t mind.
(Nominated for the Cybils by Deb Marshall)
What did you think of Press Here?