Book Review: Press Here by Herve Tullet

press here

When I was first introduced to Herve Tullet’s Press Here, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  This increasingly popular picture book looks simple at first glance, with instructions that prompt children to poke, shake, and play with the book itself.  Some pages are wordless, while other pages mimic interaction between the book and the child, but I still wasn’t sure I bought into the craze when I first read the book on my own. Yet, after seeing children read this book, I am totally sold on the concept.

This book is pure magic in the hands of a child. When I needed a copy to show my undergraduates, the preschool wouldn’t let me borrow their copy because the kids would have noticed it missing– they re-read it everyday during free play.  The preschool’s copy of the book was mangled and taped together, I could tell it was genuinely well-loved.   I’d seen the book listed on the New York Times Best-Sellers, but I was really impressed when children tried to show me “how to read” the book and encouraged me to shake it and press the “buttons” for myself.

When I was younger, I had the “Speak and Say” series and books that would supplement my reading with music, but Press Here doesn’t rely on technology or sound effects to engage the reader.   This book is no-fuss and entirely based upon the imagination of the reader.  Personally, I am an advocate for books that get children excited about literacy and that foster a passion for reading at a young age.  Press Here is not only fun, but it also gives children a sense of independence and interaction with a book, building self-esteem and encouraging creativity.

If I haven’t convinced you to take a look at this book the next time you’re at your local library, I think the book trailer for Press Here does an excellent job highlighting some of the great parts of this picturebook:

Mary Miller writes picturebook and young adult reviews for Conservative Teachers of America.  She has her MA in English and is studying for her PhD in Children’s Literature, while also teaching undergraduate Education courses in Ohio.  You can find her at her personal blog, Travels with Mary.  The views reflected in this review are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservative Teachers of America.


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