Over the last few years we have unintentionally started an Easter tradition of giving the kids a special new book with their Easter eggs. I don't think I set out to make it a tradition, but I love new books and adding to our collection so Easter seemed like the perfect excuse to give the kids a new book each.
I pretty much always buy online so sometimes it can be a bit tricky to know exactly what a book is going to be like without actually flicking through it first. This year, when I was researching new books to buy for the kids I realised how much I rely on the recommendations of others when it comes to buying online and thought that it might be helpful to other researchers out there if I shared some of my favourite picture books too. Now, I'm a bit of a a sporadic blogger at the moment so I'm not promising too much, but here's the first installment in my Favourite Children's Books series...and it may very well be my last too if I don't ever get around to writing another one!
My kids haven't tired of this book and it has been read over and over again for the last year. From the first page the children are given specific directions like "Press the yellow dot and turn the page" and "clap your hands twice" - every time a page is turned, the dots change position, colour and size. Sometimes the lights are turned out and other times dots grow and grow and grow. It really is an amazing book where the kids feel in control and a little bit magical.
I also love that this book helps young children with fine motor skills, counting, learning directions (left, right, up, down) and they also learn how to follow instructions in anticipation of what will happen when the page is turned. It's such a great concept and the story never gets old.
After the success of "Press Here" I went on a hunt for other books by Herve Tullet. The next book we bought was "The Book With A Hole."
This book is huge and not so much a story to follow, but a platform for imaginative story telling, art adventures and play.
On each page, the children are given a simple black and white picture or image created around the hole in the book and are often asked a question - did the lady in the picture below eat too much?
What is the cat watching on TV? In response, children can use their imagination and carry the book around place images in the hole or draw pictures to create a scene which they can then insert in the hole. My kids seem most content popping their own heads in the hole! This is a really long book, heaps of pages, prompts and images to keep you going for ages and no two answers will ever be the same.
"Mix It Up" is another book similar to "Press Here" which focuses on colours - what do different colours make when they are mixed together?
Other times they shut the pages of the book together and squish colours together, when the page is turned the mixed colour appears - magic again! Like "Press Here", "Mix It Up" is read over and over again and is great for learning colours and learning what colours are made when mixed together.
"The Game Of Finger Worms" is another book with a hole, this book is a board book so suited to babies and toddlers and you are instructed to draw a little face on the tip of your finger before playing.
The text is very simple, the highlight is the surprise of popping your finger through the hole and wriggling it around. It always creates laughter with the little ones and they like to poke their fingers through the holes too.
And the final Herve Tullet book in our collection is "The Game Of Let's Go!" Similar to "The Game Of Finger Worms," this is another board book aimed at small children. To be honest, we haven't really got into this book like we have the others but if you have a very imaginative child (or adult) who is into telling stories in your family, then I can see how it would be a lot of fun.
The first page of this book gives instructions but the rest of the book is without words. Instead, on each page there are raised green pathways to follow (they are kind of velvety-feeling) and you are supposed to trace the lines with your finger whilst closing your eyes and coming up with a story to match along the way. It definitley has potential, but you have to be in the right kind of mood and we haven't really latched onto this book yet.
I think you can tell we are huge Herve Tullet fans around here, and if you are looking for a new, special picture book for some littlies in your life, then I highly recommend his collections!
(I wrote this post because I wanted to - nothing sponsored and no one gave me anything, I just think this guy is pretty awesome!)