Books Elma Family Kitty Pip Reading what we're reading

Mix It Up {what we’re reading}


Way way back in the earliest days of What We’re Reading Lucy introduced me to an absolute gem of a book. I went out in my lunch break the next day and brought it home for the girls and Press Here has been in fairly frequent rotation ever since. I think Kitty knows it off by heart and as I keep finding it under Elma’s pillow I think she’s pretty fond of it too!

But now, to my very great delight,there need be no more ‘discussions’ about whose turn it is, because now there can be one each, now there is a sequel!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Mix It Up is very similar in style to the original Press Here. A colleague of mine once described it as an iPad made into a book and I think that makes sense.  As you follow the instructions to work through the book each next page shows the outcome. Colours appear and disappear just like magic, all powered by imagination.  So if it asks you to pretend to scoop up a little bit of blue to add to the yellow the next page will show you you made green, or if you squish the pages together you can see that red and blue makes purple.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

At its heart it’s an exploration of colour, and I love that it does so by showing, not telling.  It’s always fun to get the real thing out and muddle around with different colours to see what happens but there are times when you just don’t have the time or the spare hands, and this is no poor substitute.  The colours are beautifully saturated and textured and look exactly like big splodges of paint, right down to the stray smears from careless fingers on the edges of the paper.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

So often a sequel looses something of the original, and when the first was so beloved it must have been a tall order to come up with another concept that would work as well but I think Herve Tullet has nailed it.  It’s retained the simplicity of the first book that made it so appealing to little ones because they could get to grips with it by themselves, but there’s no feeling of repetition, this is a completely new topic and utterly lovely.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And while the main focus of the book is on the colour mixing and all the fun things you can do in colour combining, I’ll admit my favourites are at the beginning and end, pages covered with fingerprinting in every colour of the rainbow and more.  I’m a complete magpie when it comes to pretty colours and if anything is going to inspire us to find the time, distract Pip and get the real paints out and get messy it might just be that.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life


Space for the Butterflies: What We're Reading

Last week seems to have been an unofficial Julia Donaldson fan club moment with Jess and Rosalie reading a Squash and a Squeeze and Nina falling for Room on the Broom – they’re the first two Julia Donaldson books that I bought for Kitty and they’re still firm favourites to this day so it was lovely to see them pop up in the list!

What We’re Reading is a weekly link up of posts about children’s books.  That’s about as far as the ‘rules’ go; it can be picture books, baby books, books for older children or even young adult if you like; just come and join us to tell us what you’ve been reading recently.  The linky is always open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in, or if you’d rather join in on Instagram or Twitter that would be wonderful too, just use the hashtag #whatweread and tag me (@cariemay on Instagram and @cariemaymakes on Twitter) and then we can all come and say hi.


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  • Jess @ Picnics in the Rain 10/02/2015 at 10:04 am

    This looks like a great way to explore colour – without the mess! I’m going to go and read your other post now about the first book.

    • Jess @ Picnics in the Rain 10/02/2015 at 10:12 am

      Just been over to Lucy’s blog to read about the other book – sounds fantastic! I’m definitely adding these books to our wishlist! Thanks for hosting this linky Carie, it’s great to get book recommendations x

      • Carie 12/02/2015 at 9:48 pm

        Oh yes you definitely need both of them!!

    • Carie 12/02/2015 at 9:49 pm

      It really is perfect for when you need a little something interactive but without pulling all the paints and everything else out of the cupboard!!

  • Donna 10/02/2015 at 3:39 pm

    Oh that book looks so wonderfully colourful and I have never heard of it before. Thanks for sharing x

    • Carie 12/02/2015 at 9:30 pm

      You’re welcome – I’m sure you’ll love it if you come across it!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 10/02/2015 at 8:25 pm

    This looks fab. We love Herve Tullet and have Press Here but I didn’t realise there was another one out. I will have to have a look out for it- especially cause it’s so colourful! x

    • Carie 12/02/2015 at 9:29 pm

      Oh do, it’s just as good as the original in a whole new way!

  • sustainablemum 11/02/2015 at 5:05 pm

    We love Herve Tullet here too :). We are reading the Railway Children at the moment, I had completely forgotten the story from first time round so I am loving it all over again!

    • Carie 12/02/2015 at 9:24 pm

      Oh I must remember to read that to Kitty when she’s older, I love that story and I suspect it would be a hit around here given the similar mix of little ones!

  • sally 21/02/2015 at 12:15 am

    I do think Herve Tullet might be a genius in creating different children’s books – have you got his ‘Sribble Book’ and ‘Book with a Hole’, I think they might be our favourites, but I also love his colouring book and the finger worms one for tiddlies.

    • Carie 23/02/2015 at 10:08 pm

      No, and now I need to go the bookshop!!