by Hervé Tullet
translated by Christopher Franceshelly
Chronicle Books/Handprint Books 9/16/2015
Age 3 to 5 64 pages
“With more than 140 weeks on the New York Times picture book bestseller list and 18 foreign editions around the world, Hervé Tullet’s Press Here has encouraged hundreds of thousands of children to press, shake, and tilt their books to experience the magic of a printed page that seems to respond to their command.
“With Mix it Up! Tullet brings that sane sense of wonder and possibility to the alchemy of mixing and creating colors. Follow the artist’s simple instructions and see colors appear, mix, splatter, and vanish in a profound understanding of colors in this satisfying companion to Press Here.
Watch colors splatter, mix, and transform, all at the touch of a finger. Follow the directions and turn the page: magic and fun await”
“Tap that gray spot. Just a little, to see what happens.”
Tap the gray spot and watch differently colored dots appear on the page. After magically getting all the colored dots together, and placing your hand in the middle of them, turn the page. What a wonderful way to begin this adventure into colors. Tullet’s next instruction is simply,
“Mix it Up!”
Now you are given a red, blue, and yellow dot on the left page of the spread and a lone yellow dot on the right page of the spread. The first order of business is to take a little of the blue and gently rub it into the lone yellow. What happens? Turning the page you will see . . .
. . . the three original dots of red, blue, and yellow remain on the left page (though it looks like you were a tad messy picking up some of the blue, as the blue dot has some smeary spots). On the right page, barely visible under the blue you gently rubbed into it, is the original lone dot of yellow, (a small area of the blue is also visible). The color green is on top of both colors. How did the green get there, you ask. Well, that is a great question and the fun part about colors. When you mix two colors, a third color will appear. In this case, mixing blue with yellow produced the color green. It will happen every time. Blue mixed with yellow equals green.
And so this fun book goes. Page after page kids learn how mixing two colors produces a third color. Mix red with blue and make purple. Mix yellow with red and make orange. After a few more pages to reinforce the concept of mixing red, blue, and yellow (the primary colors), to create purple, green, and orange (the secondary colors), Tullet moves on to adding white.
What happens when Tullet gives you a circle of the primary (red, yellow, and blue), and secondary (green, orange, and purple) colors and then asks you to add white from the left page onto each of those color? What would happen if instead of white, you add black? White will create lighter shades of the color you it mixed into and black will make darker shades. Pretty neat, huh? That is what I thought my first time through the book Mix it Up!
Mix it Up is the perfect tool when teaching young children about colors. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will find Mix it Up indispensible, as will home-school teachers. Mix it Up is also less messy than using real paints . . . but of course, real paint will needed at some point. But by then, the concepts of color should be understood and kids can let their imaginations take off from there. The illustrations are hand painted, with textures and smears one expects when using finger-paints. Even the text is done by hand, with the font called HervéTulletWhimsy. The illustrations and font fit the concept of Mix itb Up perfectly. I love it!
In the review of Tullet’s picture book Press Here (read it by clicking HERE), I called Press Here brilliant. Mix it Up is no less brilliant. Through the use of painted circles, some finger smearing across the page, and a bit of printing-magic, and you have transformed one color into another. This is a wonderful way of teaching kids about color, mixing color, and creating any color you want to use all from the six basic colors. Mix it Up also does a great job of teaching kids about those primary and secondary colors, and the role of black and white. One last thing, Mix it Up is a great reinforcement tool for those of us who may have forgotten the concepts, or which colors are primary and which are secondary. Nursing home and rehabilitation occupational therapists may find that Mix it Up is just the right tool for their patients. What amazing picture book will Hervé Tullet bring the children next?
MIX IT UP! Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Bayard Editions. Translation copyright © 2014 by Chronicle Books. Reproducced byb permission of the publisher, Handprint Books, San Francisco, CA.
Originally published in France in 2014 by Bayard Editions and entitled Couleurs.
First published in USA in 2014 by Chronicle Books, LLC.
Learn more about Mix it Up! HERE.
Read a kid’s review of Mix it Up! HERE. (third review)
Read a review of Press Here HERE.
Handprint Books is an imprint of Chronicle Books LLC
Also by Hervé Tullet
copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews