Mix It Up!
Mix It Up
Hervé Tullet
ISBN 9781452137353
Handprint/Chronicle, 2014.
5 stars
Keywords: art colors concepts creativity imagination mix-it play tullet

Mix It Up!
by Hervé Tullet

Can the man behind Press Here match the pure genius of that book's simplicity? Yes! "Right again!" as the returning narrator-coach might say.

"Tap that gray spot. Just a little, to see what happens," the book begins. With a turn of the page, readers see that tapping has released a flurry of dots, moving so rapidly that the blue, red and yellow spots leave tails behind them. Yet the gray dot remains placidly in the center of the right-hand page. "There they are!" exclaims the enthusiastic unseen narrator. "But don't they seem a bit shy? Tap it again." A turn of the page reveals a fireworks display of dashing dots in an array of colors. Hervé Tullet always knows when to alter the conversation. He asks children to place a hand on that densely populated page and "count to five," eyes closed. A child-size handprint appears, like a tree, with the colors emanating from it like rainbow-colored leaves: "Yes! You've got the magic touch! Let's mix it up!" Tullet turns orderly as he teaches children that blue touched with yellow and rubbed "gently" makes (with a turn of the page) green, and follows with other secondary colors, and the effects of adding white and black. The hand print ("count to five") serves as a farewell refrain.

With a narrator as playful and uplifting as the cause-and-effect of the colors on these pages, this book is sure to be as popular as Press Here. It's clear that Tullet believes everyone has what it takes to be an artist.

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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