Let's Play!

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Let's Play! Book Poster Image
Artist charms with another engaging hands-on book.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Reinforces counting skills, learning directions (left, right), and following instructions.

Positive Messages

Exploration and experimentation are fun and exciting. Play evolves and changes as you go along. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, stay calm and careful and you can find your way out.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Narrative voice is playful and encouraging. The dot is curious to explore new situations. In dark or uncomfortable settings, the voice is cautious and straightforward without giving in to fear ("I really don't like this page. You see why now, don't you? Quick. Turn the page!").

Violence & Scariness

A few scenes are ominous or messy, suggesting fear of the dark, and the book urges the reader to move out of them quickly.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Let's Play! is an engaging addition to artist Hervé Tullet's interactive picture books including Press Here and Mix It Up!. His primary-colored dots return here for an energetic romp full of twirls, leaps, and curious adventures. It's a terrific read-aloud to encourage young readers to engage with books.

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What's the story?

A solitary yellow dot welcomes the reader with an invitation: "Wanna play?" After a few basic instructions, the reader helps the yellow dot go on a roller coaster-like ride and a simple carousel, plays a game of hide-and-seek, explores some creepy dark places, catapults the dot over an obstacle, and plays a few more interactive games. The reader is sent off with encouragement to run, flip, and fly -- and an invitation to return to play again.

Is it any good?

With a simple primary-colored dot and a few lines of ink, artist Hervé Tullet weaves magic -- this time, it's an energetic yellow dot that brings curiosity and a sense of adventure to playtime. LET'S PLAY! encourages readers to tap, press, trace, and clap along. As in his earlier books, here Tullet celebrates creativity and a sense of adventure. He writes with a warm, welcoming voice, like a new playmate at the park. When the going gets a little dicey, he confides in his reader and relies on working together to return to cheerier surroundings. Another treasure for parents and children to enjoy together.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this book compares with digital games. Do you think you'd enjoy this more or less if it were an app?

  • Do you think the dot is the main character in this book? Why, or why not?

  • Try drawing a few pages with your own game to play with the yellow dot.

Book details

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