Twist and shout!

Any book which makes its reader twist, turn, jump and shout gets a huge thumbs up in our house. That’s why we were so excited to receive these three titles recently…


Crocodali by Lucy Volpin (Templar Publishing)

Crocodali considers himself one of the world’s greatest artists and YOU are privileged
enough to be invited to help him create a masterpiece in his studio.  To do so, you are going to have to tilt, turn and shake the book following Crocodali’s exacting instructions.


Really funny and engaging.  I thoroughly enjoyed playing with the book on my own, never mind sharing it with a child! I huffed, puffed and smudged my way through the gloriously illustrated pages as I tried to follow the sublimely-moustached Crocodali’s orders (the puffing was my favourite part).

When I finally put the book down for my son to read, it was greeted with enthusiasm and giggles, and a request to get our paints out.  Thankfully, he’s not quite such a messy artist as Crocodali!

What’s Next Door? Step Inside and See! by Nicola O’Byrne (Nosy Crow)

I’m a huge fan of O’Byrne’s books (particularly The Great Dragon Bake Off) so I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed by this latest interactive delight.

Readers are asked to help Carter, a rather grumpy-looking and lost crocodile, get back home.  This is not as easy as it sounds.  Carter is rather particular about where he will live – nowhere too wet, cold or hot.  To help get him there, we have to clap, draw, and shake him through the pages when his bottom is too big to fit through the clever cut out pages.

I read this with my four-year-old on a rainy summer’s afternoon and I am pleased to report that he absolutely loved it!  At first, he was a little unsure about tipping and shaking and ‘drawing’ on a book but he was totally drawn in by the chatty, conversational style and hilarious illustrations.  He was also delighted when he correctly predicted where poor old Carter would end up next.  In fact, he was laughing so much that my eldest son broke away from his computer time to come and see what all the fuss was about!

Say Zoop! by Hervé Tullet (Chronicle Books)

Hervé is surely the master of books which encourage audience participation, from the NYT bestsellers ‘Press Here’ and ‘Mix it Up’ which encouraged the exploration of touch
and colour, to his newest book ‘Say Zoop!’ which, as the title suggests gets the reader playing with sounds.

After about 5 seconds of self–consciousness, my eight-year-old totally got into the spirit of things.  The extra loud ‘ohs’ were a particular favourite, as was making up his own sounds at the end!  But don’t be mislead, there is a lot more to this clever book than making a lot of noise (although that’s certainly a major part of its appeal!)  As he was reading, I realised the book is also the perfect first introduction to graphic scores.  Through the illustrations, he quickly identified different tempos, rhythms, sounds and volumes – genius!


Brilliantly building in complexity from a simple blue dot to a gumball machine full of colours, I defy any reader (young or old) to open its pages and not utter a sound.

Three absolutely amazing and very different books which are almost guaranteed to provoke discussion, giggles and fun amongst their readers.

Library Girl and Book Boy.

*Many thanks to Chronicle Books, Nosy Crow and Templar Publishing for sending me these titles to review*



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