The interactive codex

9780811879545I was having trouble deciding whether to include Herve Tullet’s Press Here this month. Does it count as interactive? There’s nothing weird about it production-wise. You don’t have to put it together or unfold it or lift flaps or anything like that to make it work. It’s just pages bound together with a regular spine and a regular cover.

But you can’t really get away with just turning the pages either. Here’s the concept: you open the book to the first page. It looks like this:

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You’re a good reader. You listen to books when they tell you to do something. So you press there and you turn the page and…

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How did that second yellow dot get there?! You did it. You made that yellow dot appear. And you can make more things happen if you press on (get it?!??? knee slapper).

Every page has a new instruction—press! shake! blow! tilt!—and every time you, the reader, follow the instructions, you make the picture that appears on the next page happen. Here’s the book trailer, so you can see it in action with some very excited four-year-olds:

So yeah. I think this codex counts as interactive. It’s a brilliant reminder that readers make books happen.

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