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Friday, April 22, 2016

Let's Play, by Herve Tullet. Translated by Christopher Franceschelli. Handprint Books, Chronicle. Raincoast. 2016. $21.99 ages 3 and up

UP ... DOWN ... UP...


Sicily, at 18 months, loves to spend time reading Press Here over and over again. Now, we will have a brand new book to share when I visit with her next.

In Let's Play, Herve Tullet proves his admiration for the intense concentration that young children bring to books which invite them to take an important role in the reading. We begin with a yellow dot, that allows us to think about top, bottom, right, and middle; all without really being aware of the learning that is taking place when there is so much fun to be had.

Once we have had a warm-up, off we go to follow the line and experience so much more. With our guide to help us enjoy more fun than we can imagine, we go on to change colors, spin on the Ferris Wheel, and hide in a forest filled with other primary colored dots. A dark tunnel looms ahead, and a flight of stairs! We must be very quiet ... or what?

It is like a ride at the fair, exploring every avenue suggested by the text, and conquering all that might stand in a reader's way. There is flipping, and turning, and clapping, and being afraid, and making loud noises. Following directions is a huge part of the 'lesson' being imparted as we gleefully make our way from front to back, all with the certainty that we will soon be ready to begin all over again.

In an interview with Julie Danielson at, the author had this to say about his new book:

"After Press Here, which was almost mathematical with its 15 dots going in all directions, and Mix It Up!, which was tactile, I made the dots with my bare hands. In this new experience, my goal was to go back to a kind of illustration as a way to suggest the dot’s feelings and sensations from the beginning to the end of the book. The tunnel, the dark, the fear. Going in, going out, the murmuring, on tip toe. It creates a rhythm -- and adventures that could happen to a dot, and its readers, throughout the book."

Just as an aside, if you have never visited Julie's blog (and I have mentioned it in previous posts), you should make time for a long visit. It really is wonderful!

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