The concept is familiar: a board book that invites applike interaction.
Speaking directly to readers, Larry, a bulbous, purple monster with one tooth, tiny purple horns, and large, expressive eyes, explains, “This is my present. I REALLY want to open it, but I’m not supposed to yet.” The appearance of Santa on the last page confirms that the green package with its large red bow is a Christmas gift. Spoiler alert: The box is merely a decoy. The “real present” is “something you’re always allowed to open: THIS BOOK!” In between, young readers are invited to shake the present to make it shrink, shake it up and down to stretch it tall, and shake it side to side to enlarge it to the margins of the spread. Children accustomed to enlarging pictures on a screen or tablet will understand the instruction to “SHRINK the present with your fingers” but will lose interest when nothing changes until the page is turned. The most successful interactions are when Larry “accidentally” pulls on the ribbons, but even that result—Larry is sucked into the box and expelled, screaming, “AAAAAAAAAAAHHH!” with a “BOING” and a “DOINK”—remains disappointingly static. Children used to instantaneous responses or those who’ve experienced the brilliant simplicity of Press Here will not be amused.
Not as great a gift as it thinks it is. (Board book. 2-4)