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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Herve Tullet
Age Range: Under_5
A man is standing on a hand, a mountain rests on the back of a camel, a house stands on blocks and an elephant balances on a lorry. Where can you see such crazy sights? In Hervť Tulletís Mix-Up-World!
A cleverly designed picture book, Hervť Tulletís Mix- Up-World is really a game and consists of pages split into panels, each with a bright picture on. Since the top half of the page is separate from the bottom, all the separate sections can be flipped forward and backwards to be mixed and matched with other segments in the book. A pictures only book printed on stiff card to withstand inquisitive little fingers, this is a very child friendly and child proof book for the zero to five age range.
The actual design of the book/game, however, is perhaps more exciting than the designs on the pages. Whilst itís bright and colourful and encourages creativity, some combinations of images work much better than others, and if your child is not artistically inclined and willing to patiently put images together, they could very soon get bored. Thereís also a chance that very little children (in the same way that they ignore the present you spent ages buying and would much rather just have the box in came in) will be fascinated by the way the pages can be split more than by whatís actually on them. Pictures and picture only books are a great way to get children interested in looking at books, but I canít help feeling that as Mix-Up-World is a hybrid between a book and a game, some children will either feel cheated of a story or find the fact that the game comes in a book format rather limiting. Whilst you can discuss the images and push children to use their imaginations to explain their pictures, but not all children will enjoy this, some will inevitably find a story more interesting and more of a stimulus.
The book is neatly designed and Tullet has come up with a great idea, simply executed but itís definitely one to think about before you buy. Certainly think about what sort of games and activities your children enjoy. I know my mother would not have purchased this one for me when I was little, probably because I struggled with a five-piece jigsaw and couldnít work out how to use a shape sorter.
Abby Phillips (2015)