What do a preschooler, a six, nine and eighteen year old, and any adult I’ve seen so far have in common? We all have to press the button!
Here at Centre for Family Literacy, we recently came across an excellent children’s book called Press Here by Hervé Tullet. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I like to press buttons and ring bells, so of course the book landed on my desk very quickly.
As I went through, following the directions on each page – pushing and rubbing dots, shaking the book, blowing on it – I kept thinking, “my kids would love this! Who am I kidding – I LOVE IT!”
In the end though, it did make it home and I tested it out on my niece (4), my daughter (6), and my son (9). It started out tentatively; they pushed the button as I held the book. As it got more interactive, suddenly the book was ripped out of my hands in their anticipation to shake the dots to the other side of the page. Pretty soon, I didn’t even need to be there (but I was, because I was doing it all too of course).
I took the story of my family’s response back to the office and was informed by one of our team that she had walked in on her 18 year old interacting just as enthusiastically with the book as my kids and niece had.
I have heard nothing but the same stories of fun family interaction more times than I can count now in relation to this book. As I watched one young teenage girl self-consciously start looking at the book and doing what it asked, I could tell that she really wanted to get into it, but was asking herself if it was a cool thing to do.
“Isn’t it weird that you know it’s a book, but you really feel the need to do everything it asks?” I asked her. She nodded in agreement and I said, “go ahead, we’ve all done it”.
I sat back and smiled as she made the decision that it was fun and okay and had a blast with the rest of the book.
Now that’s how you take the measure of a great book!