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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.