Part of the reason I love Hervé Tullet's books so much is that they are as much fun for me to read as they are for the kids. This French author has created over 60 children's books, all bright and colorful and full of life. He published his first book for children in 1994 and has since become one of the world's most innovative book makers. Known in France as 'The Prince of pre-school books', Tullet takes the concept of reading to a new level, teaching young minds to think imaginatively, independently and creatively. Here are just a few of my favorite Tullet books, there are plenty of other titles from him for your kids to explore, and trust me, after you read one you're going to want more!
- Press Here. From the title onward children are given specific directions like "press the yellow dot again" and "try shaking the book". For every action the child takes, the book seems to respond with the turn of a page. Dots appear and fly in all directions. Sometimes the child turns out the lights. Other times the dots grow bigger on the page with every clap of the reader. By the time you've reached the end all the book has to say is, "want to do it all over again?", to which my two kids always respond with "YES!". This most recently published book of Tullet's gives kids a new way to interact with a book, similar to what they might find in an iPad app or a game, they get the same thrill and response by following the book's directions.
- The Game of Light. Another brilliant interactive Tullet book, this one requires a flashlight to make the fun come to life. It's a small board book with each page featuring cut-out shapes through which you shine the flashlight to project the shapes onto the walls and ceiling. Given the fact that my kids can entertain themselves with a couple of flashlights alone, this book is a huge hit with them, and a fun departure from the usual reading fare.
- The Coloring Book. This is VERY far from your ordinary "coloring book". Visual discernment, color selection, creativity, higher level thinking, and the imagination are all engaged in this fantastic book. Inside you will find a series of empty circles progress across the page and the directions say, "Color the shapes, from light to dark and back again" allowing the choice of color to the artist. Or your child will encounter outlined numbers from 0-9 that overlap like a collage in the center of the page. The directions ask, "How old are you? Color in the right number" and the eye has to isolate the right number to color in. A maze that looks like a tangle of spaghetti invites the little artist to select a strand and follow its twistings and turnings with their crayon. These are just a few of the exercises your child will find in this book that will keep them engaged, active and thinking far beyond just staying in between the lines.
- The Game of Finger Worms. This adorable book is guaranteed to keep any little one entertained. A fun and lively game for young kids that introduces them to the vivid imaginary world at their fingertips, they can draw a fun little smiley face on their fingertips, poke them through the holes and let their big imaginations run wild.
- Doodle Cook. Here are 17 art-recipes that kids can follow to learn how to create a scribble sandwich, a thousand layer cake and chef’s surprise… and then add their own decoration to taste! Using imaginative but easy-to-follow ‘recipes’ encourages children to draw things they never imagined they could. This book is guaranteed to foster powers of visualization and stretch the imagination!