“Did you see that?” she whispered to her teacher sitting next to her in the back row. “I’m making that happen!” That’s truly the magic of this simple book–letting kids feel a part of the magic. Actually, not merely a part, but the source!
The charm of this book, Press Here, by Hervé Tullet, shines brightest when you read it to a group of kids, who can immerse themselves in the joy of discovery, and the delightful illusion of an interactive book.
Each page invites the reader to press, tap, rub, blow, shake or tilt. The ensuing results of the action are revealed when the page is turned. I held the book out to the seated students, and asked them to perform the actions directed on each page. I moved through the rows, letting each child have a turn.
Everyone watched intently as their classmates took their turn, sometimes helping to count the number of taps out loud, or offering help with which is left or right. Then everyone was invited to predict (buzzword) what would happen on the next page. Of course, the number of pages didn’t coincide with the number of students in each class, so with some classes, a few had several turns, and in other classes, I let a few students redo a page we had already done, so everyone was satisfied with their participation. Students were then able to make their own Press Here books to take home.
I planned to do this storytime with only the kindergarteners, but it was such a success, I repeated it with 1st and 2nd grades as well. We did this in September as our very first storytime of the school year. In January, one boy sought me out and told me excitedly that he had received this book as a Christmas present! (Nice going, mom and dad!)
Prep: Cut and fold white paper into square cards. Write in blue marker “PRESS HERE” on the front cover. Punch out way more red, yellow and blue circles than you think you’ll need, and sprinkle them in the center of the tables, set out glue sticks. I was punching circles til my hands ached every night before school to resupply for the next day of classes. If you don’t have the patience for this, and want to spend the money, you can purchase round stickers at Office Depot. Consider limiting the number of dots children are allowed to use, as some got a little carried away with the fun of sticking them on.
Student Instructions: Stick one dot in the center between the words PRESS and HERE. Add dots to the inside in any pattern or combination desired.
Be prepared to be asked to press the dot
on everyone’s book when they finish,
and exclaim with delight when the book is opened
and the magic is revealed!
Just a few of the many awards: