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Mix It Up! Hardcover – September 16, 2014
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"Hervé? Tullet is something of a magician: He turns reading books into exciting, interactive play time."--Common Sense Media, five-star review
"Will have you breaking out the finger paints."--St. Louis Post Dispatch
"Tullet's paintings show paint texture so lusciously it's hard to remember that these are dry illustrations."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Tullet of Press Here fame returns with another inventive, instinctive, and interactive book."- Booklist
"Tullet applies the same ingenuity and encouraging voice to his latest offering about colors that he used to such terrific effect in Press Here."--Library Media Connection
"This is a book about mixing colors, but it's anything but ordinary."--Mix it Up!
"This highly-interactive book gives children the power to transform colors."--The Durham Herald-Sun
"This follow-up from the creator of Press Here rivals the original's genius simplicity and playfulness, teaching the properties of color along the way."--Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Teaches children about combining colors in a fun, interactive style."--Parents Magazine
"Surprisingly sophisticated invitation to mix and smoosh bright splotches of paint."--Chicago Tribune
"Rivaling an iPad for its sheer fun and interactive elements."-School Library Journal, starred review
"Oh. This book is brilliant!"--Design Mom
"Mr. Tullet's mischievous brilliance turns young readers into willing, laughing collaborators."-Wall Street Journal
"Lots of fun, with no messy cleanup."--The Horn Book
"Irresistible... a fun, interactive reading experience."--PBS Parents
"Invites children to find some paints and try mixing in real life."--The Horn Book
"'Uncompromising Expression' is a must for any hepcat."
- San Francisco Chronicle
"Great fun for paint lovers in places where paints can't be used."-Publishers Weekly, starred review
"An incredibly fun introduction to the world of colors."--Woman's World
"An explosion of fun."--Babykins Magazine
"Although it is a simple idea, it is an endearing one, and in my house, an enduring one as well."--ApartmentTherapy
About the Author
Hervé Tullet is known for his prodigious versatility, from directing ad campaigns to designing fabric for Hermès. But his real love is working with children, for whom he has published dozens of books, including Press Here. He lives in Paris, France.
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
For those unfamiliar with the first book, Press Here asks its readers to watch what happens through the pages when they touch fingers to various drops of color. Dots of paint multiply and divide, slide from one side of the page to another, and even grow, and all of these things happen only when the reader follows the book’s commands. Hailed by many media outlets as a book that would give the iPad a run for its money, author Herve Tullet encourages children to relate to Press Here in a way that delights and surprises its target audience.
Mix It Up! follows a similar format but with more intention. Kids will start the book with an invitation that says, “It’s that time again,” sure to induce grins. This time, however, the book starts with a gray dot and uses the dot as a call to action to invite other colors to join it on the page. Soon enough large primary color blots dominate the spread, but this time the blots really do look like paint blots. Tullet invites kids to rub one color onto the next, introducing and reinforcing the concepts of mixing primary colors to create secondary ones.
Tullet instructs readers to start by dabbing one color onto the next, but within several pages he encourages kids to smear the colors into one another. The result brings spreads similar to what children might create in introductory art classes as they explore paint for the first time. Like Press Here, Mix It Up! revels with minimal text in what the reader can bring to a book that always encourages imagination and whimsy like only the best teachers can.
The one minor hiccup comes when Tullet tells kids to close the book in an effort to “smoosh” colors together. Younger readers might fumble for a minute or two to find their page again when they’re done “smooshing,” causing a small interruption in the reading process. Because this isn’t a board book, it makes more sense from a tactile standpoint for readers to close the book. Pressing two pages together could possibly cause the pages to come out of the spine after repeated readings. But some readers will most certainly need an adult close to help them find the pages they’d just pressed to continue with the fun.
Despite the small logistical challenge, Mix It Up! will certainly encourage readers to come to books with an active mindset. Subtle reminders, like fingerprints and paint smudges at the edges of the pages reinforce that mindset. The book does what the best books always do: it offers readers a chance to participate in the discovery process of a good story.
I recommend this book for all children who enjoy reading and who expect their books to delight and amaze them.
Each page shows what happens when you mix or manipulate colors and shapes made form paint. Think finger paint style. Visually it's both simple and stunning. Very bright brilliant colors with plenty of negative space to let the colors shine. That's it. That's all the illustrations are. And it's that simplicity that makes this book great.
The colors capture a child's visual attention. Then once the kid is hooked the book changes the colors and shapes and forces the child into unwittingly using both his or her right and left brain. It makes the child quantifiably see what happens when colors mix (Yellow and blue make green, folding the page with a blotch makes a mirror image, etc etc etc) and to use his or her imagination to make sense of the colored splotches on the paper. Plus it's very interactive. The kid is told to touch the pages to make things happen (touch the page to make more colors, then the next page has more colors...etc etc) so the whole thing is very stimulating to a child's brain. (Okay okay...I'm 36 and I was entertained by it too. I admit it.)
It's so much fun to watch my daughter read this book over and over and over, constantly responding to the directions in the book as if she and the book were having a conversation. Above all of the other mental stimulation this book provides, it's also helping to instill a lover of books in her as a young child.
All that child development stimulation is a hell of a good deal for $12!