Book Review: Press Here

Today’s post is written by Happiest Mom contributor and resident book reviewer Devon Barta of The Paperhouse. Enjoy!

When it comes to children’s books, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong.

While in the earliest stages of reading, as long as children are interested in words, the formation of sentences, grammar rules and how stories affect our outlook, I believe just about any book will suffice.

Books are a child’s first instrument of education. And children’s books are usually the first time a curtain is pulled back, offering our children a glimpse at not just new cultures, worlds and characters but at actual words, rules and structure.

As long as they are reading something – a colorful board book, a whimsical Dr. Seuss rhyme or – a surprisingly pleasant read – Diary of a Wimpy Kid – language and stories are filtering through and having their first shot of settling into developing minds.

There are so many excellent kids’ books flooding the market that sometimes it’s hard to sit down and pick one to write about – or, in this case, gush over. The truth is, how good a book is really depends on the level and stage of development a child is in. But no one book has withstood the test of time or developmental stages in our home like Herve’ Tullet’s book, Press Here.

Clever and effortless, Tullet’s work sets the stage for fun and interactive story time. Joey and the boys alike request it multiple times nearly every day.

Author and illustrator of several children’s books, Tullet mixes simple art with even simpler instructions. But the reaction is anything but ordinary.

Each page displays bright, colorful dots with a sentence or two of instruction, such as “Five taps on the red …” The result of the completed instruction appears when you turn the page to find that the dots have either changed color, multiplied or moved.

My five-year-olds still enjoy it because they’re old enough to understand that what they have done has created a change but even now too young to truly care that it’s a trick. They are intrigued each time we turn the page, even when they know what’s coming.

Joey, who is nearing her third birthday, is just starting to understand that she has affected something but is so enamored with the beautiful colors and interaction that it doesn’t matter that she’s starting to anticipate the change. It’s a perfect book for children of any age, displaying the combination of reading and physical interaction at its finest.

My only complaint is that it’s not available as a board book so younger children can experience it independently. For while, Joey was far too rough on books to allow her to play with this on her own, and if she had had it her way, we would have read it all day long and only allowed for sippy-cup-refill breaks.

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