Mix It Up!

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Mix It Up! Book Poster Image
Delightful book reveals the magic of mixing colors.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

In addition to demonstrating basic color-combination concepts, Mix It Up! offers opportunities to review numbers ("count to five") and following instructions (such as tilting the book left or right, tapping gently, or pressing hard). 


Positive Messages

Paint splattered in blobs and dripping across pages shows off the joy of experimentation and creative work. 


Positive Role Models & Representations

The story is told in a patient, encouraging voice: "If you rub the two colors together really hard … then what happens? You got it!"


Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mix It Up! by Hervé Tullet (Press Here) is a cheerfully interactive book that teaches about colors in a uniquely engaging way. It's a terrific book to read together, guaranteed to elicit giggles -- and probably a run on your art supplies afterward. Once they're familiar with the words, preschoolers will enjoy "reading" the book on their own to make the magic happen.

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What's the story?

MIX IT UP! opens with a lone gray spot and instructions to tap it "just a little." Colorful dots burst onto the following pages. Readers are prompted to use their fingers and add a bit of one color to another to see what happens, then to tilt, shake, and squish pages to play with other combinations and effects.

Is it any good?

This is another bright, engaging book from French artist Hervé​ Tullet, who's something of a magician: He turns reading books into exciting, interactive play time. As he did with Press Here, Tullet marries a simple concept with a similarly simple style and conjures up an absorbing, rich book to delight children and their parents.

Even children who already know about primary and secondary colors will enjoy playing along with Tullet, who encourages them to tap, smoosh, tilt, and shake pages to make the magic happen. He sends them off with advice to "play, look, and mix it up," and end pages covered in colorful thumbprints are likely to inspire kids to go straight for paints and paper afterward.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about color combinations and explain primary and secondary colors. What color does yellow and blue make? How about blue and red? 


  • Make your own version of the book or a poster inspired by it, experimenting with color combinations and patterns.


  • Find a pair of tinted sunglasses and see how colors appear different when you wear them.

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and art

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