Press Here by Hervé Tullet

A new book that came our way over Christmas – one of many, obviously – is an interactive treat by  the name of Press Here.

It’s one I first heard of when researching my A-Z of children’s books in translation but couldn’t track down in time – more of those later…

Written by Hervé Tullet and translated from French by Christopher Franceschelli, it plays on the fact that all small children like pressing buttons and making things happen. It starts with a yellow dot and the instruction to “press here” and as you go through the pages, more buttons appear, the lights go on and off, the shapes are shaken up, slide down the page and so on.


Press Here by Hervé Tullet, tr. Christopher Franceschelli (Chronicle Books, 2011)

The first reading kept the whole family entertained – not just its younger members – and it seems set to become a hit. Franceschelli’s text strikes just the right tone in engaging with the kids and it’s fun for an adult to read and play along with too.

While you could see it as a sad indictment of the state of modern childhood – do books have to pretend to be a computer game to compete? – I prefer to think that it shows you don’t need batteries to have fun.

In the publisher’s words:

The single touch of a finger sparks a whimsical dance of colo[u]r and motion in this joyful celebration of the power of imagination.

About forwardtranslations

I'm a freelance literary translator from German and French to English. The title of my blog comes from Mary Schmich's description of reading: it struck home with me, and seems especially apt for translated fiction. Here are some of my musings on what I'm reading, re-reading, reading to my children, and translating.
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