Top positive review
and fun person to be around
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 13, 2014
Herve Tullet must be a very vibrant, creative, and fun person to be around. I think he is like the picasso for kids and I mean that in the best ways!! This is our third Herve book we've added to our collection (Press Here and The Scribble Book.) We really enjoy the interactive style he uses in his books, to encourage kids to participate in the story as it goes along.
I don't want to compare Mix it Up to Press Here, but because it's the same type of book, by the same author, there are some parallels I will comment on.
As a mom what I LOVE about this book is the lack of actual mess. The kids can mix the colors again and again and again... and guess what? We don't end up with some globby pile of weird brown paint. So that alone makes it very enjoyable for me. Herve's books have a sense of magic to them- yes the kids know it's not real paint and they know that the book is pre-printed and they're not actually doing the "mixing" and smushing of the colors. HOWEVER, it's vibrant and fun so much that the story comes to life and POOF= "MAGIC!" They are actually mixing and smushing the colors all over the place (everyone from age 1.5 to 7 participates too!) Here's where I will draw a couple of comparisons- I wish some of the elements below from Press Here were incorporated into Mix It Up.
One of the elements that I love about Press Here, that I found lacking in Mix it Up, was the language. I love in PH how the narration gives feedback and guides the child to the next page/concept/action. This is different from MIU, which has things like "What do you think will happen?" then you turn the page, and it says, "Right!" I prefer the feedback and direction, because it ties the language to the concepts in the book. Now, we end up supplementing and making our own language up as we go, but I assume lots of kids will be reading this to themselves, or maybe to their siblings. It leaves a little to be desired, and doesn't feel complete.
Similar to the above- PH had a sequence of events- one thing led to another, which led to another, which led to another, and so on. Nothing felt out of place. The only proof of sequence I'm seeing in MIU is the increasing number of faint other-colored fingerprints from previous "mixing" pages. I just feel like a bit more could have been done here to incorporate it all for the kids and really make it as fun and engaging as Herve Tullet's other stories.
Now something I LOVE about all three of the books is something that MAKES these stories worth their prices to me. These books are DURABLE. Childrens books cannot be flimsy!!! I hate spending money on hardcover books most of the time because they are still made out of cheap quality materials that will eventually separate and die a sad, broken-binding, torn-page book death, stacked up on a shelf waiting for scotch tape surgery. What is the point of having a fun, engaging children's book that can't withstand use from its targeted audience??! If the material used to make these books ever changes to the standard hard cover/thin pages, I don't think we would purchase them anymore. These books are meant to be shaken, smashed, pressed, and very, very actively handled! The author/publishing company/head-hauncho decision-maker made a GREAT choice when choosing the material of these books. PLEASE don't change it- I know it's probably not the least expensive option. I try to be smart about our book purchases and try not to spend crazy amounts of money on picture books, but if it came down to it, I'd shell out a couple more dollars just to have this high level of quality.
My only comment about the material is that something is up with the MIU book cover. The corner of the cover was already starting to peel away from the cardboard backing within 3 times of reading this book. Maybe it's a fluke, because PH never did that and it's been read (re: thrown around, played with, and adored) by some very active kids. I just glued it back down and let it sit overnight under a heavy book and it was fine.
Overall (and I totally realize I'm rambling here) I like this book and my kids love it. I just figured that since PH is a tough act to follow, I'd add my thoughts about comparing them, because I'm sure some other parents will too. I read it today to a group of kids aged 1.5, 3, 3.5, 5, and 7, and they all crowded around the book and took turns pressing, smashing, blending, mushing, mixing, and even stepping on the pages to make the mixing magic happen. It's very fun and I do recommend it!