Tag Archives: Hervé Tullet

The Game of Light, by Hervé Tullet

The Game of Light, by Herve Tullet

The Game of Light, by Hervé Tullet (2011)

We picked up a couple really fun books at the library today, but this one we saved for bedtime (for soon to be obvious reasons)!

Hervé Tullet is a French writer who  specializes in interactive books for children. (I reviewed Press Here in a previous post and noted that he is called the “prince of preschool books” in his native country (and with good cause).) The Game of Light is a board book with very brief text accompanied by cutouts on each page. Its main intended use is with a flashlight in a darkened room, but the cutouts and bright colors of the pages mean that reading through it in the light before the show begins is still a fun experience! Once the lights are out, using a single beam flashlight, shine the light through each page onto the walls or ceiling. This book might even inspire children to create their own cutout pages to make playing shadow puppets just a little more creative!

GirlChild and BoyChild’s Reactions: Both GirlChild and BoyChild loved this book! (GirlChild even asked if we could read it every night while we have it checked out!) They both enjoy doing shadow puppets with Daddy, so I knew that this extension of the concept would interest them. They share a room, so they each sat on a bed and watched as I turned the pages and moved the images around. You might also try reading each page again (using the flashlight, of course) before you project each image to refresh your listener’s memory. Our flashlight had two LED bulbs, and the images had ghost images from the second bulb, so make sure you use a flashlight with just one strong bulb for best results. The only complaint I have about the book is that the pages are a little too small and allow too much light to shine out around them when you’re creating the images. I would recommend for any young children still intrigued by shadow puppets and playing games with light (so, you know, any age). This might even be a good book to partner with Switch on the Night for a child who is still a little nervous about the dark and needs some encouragement to go to sleep at night.

Additional titles:

The Game in the Dark, by Herve Tullet

(a glow-in-the-dark option!)

The Game of Shadows, by Herve Tullet

(a book for storytelling with shadows)


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Press Here, by Hervé Tullet

Press Here, by Hervé Tullet (2011, Handprint Books, ISBN 978-0-8118-7954-5)

From the very beginning, I did not know what to expect from this book, and each page left me anticipating the next. This book has no plot, no characters, no setting, pretty much no conventional book parts…but the directions must be followed and the pages turned to satisfy curiosity!

Hervé Tullet is a French artist and the father of three children…and he appears to know his stuff! Called the “Prince of pre-school books” in France, he published his first children’s book in 1994. Meandering about his website (which can be viewed in English, although the text in the images is still in French, and the translation appears to be computer-generated), you can find photographs of him doing workshops with small children and interacting with them in much the way you would expect a favorite uncle to do. I imagine it is this part of him that enables him to create such unique and engaging works for children.

Press Here features an assortment of bold, painted dots in primary colors on backgrounds that are white and/or painted black. The reader is instructed (through brief sentences at the bottom of the right-hand page) to do something relating to the image. For instance, one of the first pictures is simply a yellow dot, about an inch in diameter, in the center of the right-hand page, and the text (translated from the original French) says “PRESS HERE AND TURN THE PAGE.” (The text is possibly hand printed and is in distinctive uppercase writing with only the letter “i” being done in lowercase.) Turning the page reveals the supposed result of following the instruction; in this case, a second yellow dot appears to the left of the first. Instructions throughout the book include pressing, rubbing, tapping, shaking, tilting, blowing, standing, and clapping, often with an adverb to modify the verb. Readers also have to identify right and left and a deviation from a pattern. As for the dots, they multiply, move, grow, and overlap (causing some secondary colors to emerge) in a “response” that seems to follow logically from the action the reader is supposed to perform.

GirlChild’s Reaction: GirlChild was mesmerized by this book! She followed the directions fastidiously (I had to help define “press” for her so she’d take her finger off the page so I could turn it!) and at the end–where it says “Want to do it all over again?”–she was ready to start over, and she asked for it again as soon she she got up from her nap and saw it on my desk. When I wasn’t available to read it to her, she sat with it and tried to do all the actions herself by what she remembered from the pictures and reading it before, and she was ready to read it again by bedtime. Very obviously, this book was intriguing to her (and to me!), and the way that it drew her in and invited interaction reminded me of a printed cross between a smart phone app and a sophisticated touch-and-feel book! I would highly recommend this book for a one-on-one reading session with a preschool or early elementary aged child.

Additional titles:

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