My house is full of children's books, both on the shelves and stacked next to every chair, couch and bed. More and more of the recently acquired ones seem to be of the interactive kind, which usually equals flaps, pockets, pop-ups or compartments. There is one interactive book that has none of these but still manages to find its way to the top of the piles (yes, it somehow moves from one room to the next, I suspect my daughter has a hand in that). Mix It Up! by Hervé Tullet has our whole family poking its pages—in a good way.
The book begins with a gentle invitation to tap on a single gray spot, just to see what happens. The gray spot is joined by a bunch of other spots of many colors. They are a bit shy at first but, after a few more taps, are soon clustered thickly on the page and ready for action. From there, the reader shakes, rubs, tilts and slams shut the book to create all manner of paint effects. Along the way there are lessons on blending colors, light and dark and how paint reacts to vigorous stimulation.
One of the beautiful details in Mix It Up! is that all of the spots, swaths and spatters are handmade. The fingerprints and brush strokes give the whole book a feeling of authenticity and realness. Tullet has managed to make a two-dimensional experience somehow seem tactile, all while maintaining the simple premise of colorful paint smears interacting on a stark white background throughout the entire book. And although it is a simple idea, it is an endearing one, and in my house, an enduring one as well.
Title: Mix It Up!
Author/Illustrator: Hervé Tullet
Publisher: Chronicle Books (2014)
Age group: Three to six
Best for kids who: are into painting, colors, and pressing buttons
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Mix It Up! by Hervé Tullet
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.