As I’m sure regular readers know, one of my hobbies is collecting vintage children’s books. There are so, so many things I love about them, but at the same time I also celebrate just how much children’s books have moved on since my childhood. Back then books were just stories or factual. If your parents read you a bedtime story it was usually quite a old fashioned thing where they read and you listened. There were a few noticeable exceptions and I always remember the story my mum tells me about reading Wind in the Willows and how that book taught her about the sound of words. The use of “sploosh” as something fell (or jumped) into the water opened up her eyes to the world of onomatopoeic words and what fun you could have with them, especially when reading aloud.
Taking a look at Say Zoop! by Herve Tullet I really realised just how much children’s books have moved on. Say Zoop! is quite simply a celebration of sound. In particular, the sounds that you can make with your mouth and how you can have fun with the pitch, speed and volume of what you say and explore rhythm as well. And fun is the key word when it comes to this book. I first sat and read it without a child and found myself smiling along as I worked through the pages. It’s hard to explain quite what it involves, so let’s work with some pictures.
And yes, I do see the irony of describing a book about sound with pictures…
This is an interactive book. One which start with asking the reader to say Oh! as they touch a blue dot on the page with their finger. It then goes on to start playing with the blue dot and the sounds that you make when you touch it on the page.
Before they know it, children are experimenting with sound and rhythm and exploring how sound works.
To be honest, it is utterly genius and I can’t wait to share the book with some of the teachers at my children’s school. I think they could have a lot of fun with it in the Early Years Foundation Stage classes in particular.
Once children have got comfortable with Oh! as a sound, Ah! comes along to play as well.
This is quite simply a brilliant, fun book. I can see Master C and I in particular having a lot of fun with it. Little Miss C too. I guess that means I’d better check out the other books Herve Tullet has written too…
Say Zoop! by Herve Tullet is published by Chronicle Books on 1 August 2017. ISBN 9781452164731 Priced at £10.99. It is available to buy online here.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Say Zoop! for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links. Rent to pay, children to feed, gin habit to fund etc etc…