If you are already familiar with French illustrator Hervé Tullet’s books, you will not only instantly recognize his bold style, but also know that he loves to promote fun and creativity with books. His latest two offerings are no exception!
My Stencil Kit (Thames and Hudson) combines a large art pad style book with some colourful shapes already drawn in with a selection of sturdy stencil board which altogether include over 200 stencils. From letters to puzzles pieces, from animals to speech bubbles, the combinations are endless, allowing children to create their own scenes and tell their own stories. The shapes already drawn on the paper are inviting without being intrusive, and there is of course nothing to stop budding artists from continuing their drawing adventures on another art pad or indeed on loose paper. The end papers show the kind of thing that might be achieved, but really, the child has carte blanche, and there is no doubt this will allow their creative juices to flow freely and endlessly.
Let’s Play (Chronicle, translated by Christopher Franceschelli) is a companion title to Tullet’s international bestselling interactive stories Press Here and Mix It Up. This time readers follow a yellow dot on its travels, taking an active part in its adventures. The dot is the narrator and a very enthusiastic one too, encouraging young readers to interact fully with the book: tracing the black line, pressing the dot, blowing on the page amongst others. Tullet’s signature style of bold colours and huge white space is as creative as ever but there is also a wonderful dark, almost Jackson Pollockesque double-spread, and while the dot doesn’t like it, it shows that even pages that might be considered ‘messed up’ can be turned into something exciting. A wonderful springboard for fun storytime as well artistic creations, Tullet once more proves with Let’s Play that whatever apps and touchscreens can do, codex can do better.
Source: review copies from publisher