Say Zoop!

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Say Zoop! Book Poster Image
Joyfully noisy book sparkles with creative energy.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Explores emotions including joy, playfulness, anger, sadness, and comfort through shape, color, and sound. Incorporates counting and rhythm. Inspires creative thinking and imaginative perspectives.

Positive Messages

Open-ended imaginative exploration takes you on an always interesting creative journey. Tapping your creativity can be a solo or collaborative endeavor. Trying something yourself is a good way to find out what might happen next. When friends don't get along, you can help them make peace.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The narrative voice is a gentle partner, guiding readers with simple instructions. When the dots start arguing in an angry splash of color, the narrator prompts readers to help them make up: "Everything's OK again. Oh, good."

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hervé Tullet (Press Here) gives fresh life to his playful, brightly colored dots in Say Zoop!, a highly interactive book that encourages readers to experiment with sound as they explore color, rhythm, patterns, emotions, and more. Invitations to press, shake, whisper, roar, and sing erase the boundary between books and games. It's tremendously fun to enjoy together, but far too energetic for bedtime! Simple prompts guide readers through the book, leaving plenty of room for grown-ups and children to extend the experience with their own ideas.

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What's the story?

SAY ZOOP! -- plus oh!, ah! waahoo!, and a whole lot more as you follow the adventures of brightly painted dots that hop, roll, bounce, shiver, cry, and comfort each other to create an ever-expanding soundscape. The book opens with a blue dot and an invitation to start playing by touching the dot and saying "oh!" As the dot gets larger, "oh!" becomes "OH!" Simple instructions introduce new dots and sounds and guide readers to verbally hop, slide, dive, and bounce. As new dots arrive, they interact and play as different characters and sounds, erupting in a riot of new colors and noises.

Is it any good?

Creative wizard Hervé Tullet makes read-aloud magic again, this time giving his playful primary-colored dots voices in an energetic, noisy picture book that turns story time into play time. A welcome change from animal-sound books, Say Zoop! feels like improvisational jazz as it encourages readers to draw connections between images, sound, and emotion and visualize rhythm as it builds to a swirling crescendo.

As with all of Tullet's books (such as Let's Play!), there's abundant opportunity for adults to extend activities with counting, patterns, color combinations, and more. It's high-energy and inspiring fun for all ages.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sounds and emotions in Say Zoop! Listen to different sounds and talk about how they make you feel. Which sounds are soothing to you? Which are a little scary? Which sounds seem happy or excited?

  • Does this book feel like a story or a game? Are their other books you find especially fun to read together?

  • Make up some of your own words to invent a new language.

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