"Un Livre," translated as “Press Here,” is by Hervé Tullet, a French artist, performer, illustrator and children's literature author who has written over 80 books. His 2010 book Press Here has been translated into twenty-seven languages and remained on the The New York Times Best Seller list in the Children's Picture Books category for over four years.
Hervé Tullet divides his time between New York and France. He is known for his prodigious versatility, from designing fabric for Hermès, to being an innovative children's book author known in France as “the prince of preschool books.”
During the Maternelle years, most of our students have “read” and explored the book “Press Here” in both French and in English. “Un Livre” is not a classical read, but an experience that involves the power of imagination and interactivity. Sometimes it is a wonderful experience to be passive in front of a book and let your imagination run wild, and sometimes, we want to participate in the story, to be, if not the hero, at least an actor.
Take, as an example, "A Book." Turn the page, and a yellow spot appears. Below, a small text invites you to press on a yellow spot. You do it, and surprisingly, while turning the page the spot seems to have split. Repeat as you are told, and the dot has split again. So you have three identical yellow spots on this new page. You are then invited to rub the one on the left, and when turning the page it turns red. When you try the same thing with the one on the right, it becomes blue.
Press, shake, tilt, click, blow on the pages
With these first six pages, you have here the ingenious principle of "A Book," which follows throughout the entire book with a vertiginous creativity and without dead time. Hervé Tullet fascinates us once again with a simple, minimal, but incredibly fruitful idea. A magician of books, he mischievously invites you to "press," "shake," "tilt," "click," and "blow" on pages, making this book a naturally interactive object and the reading of it a truly original act.
As you can see, “Press Here” has engaged our students to count, to follow directions, to develop their comprehension and their oral language skills, and to act. It has also inspired some classes to create their own counting books with some fun and new directions such as “rub every dot while you are counting them” and other games to create simple additions.
Creating your own book
In Kindergarten they explored the idea to create a play from a book. They also had discussions about different types of performances, from operas to musicals, which may be a source of inspiration for their own show on May 31st.
The high point of this lesson was when the children went to watch the Bay Area Children’s “Press Here, the Musical” in Berkeley. To be able to experience “A Book” alive with spots dancing and singing around in a real theater was a memorable experience! The video below will give you a sense of the energy in that play, fantastique!