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Help! We Need a Title!
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Help! We Need a Title!

by Hervé Tullet, Herve Tullet (Illustrator)
 
What if you picked out a book to read, but the characters weren’t ready for you yet? A clever new picture book from the creator of the New York Times bestseller Press Here.

Take a peek inside this book and you’ll find some characters (though they’re still a bit sketchy). They’ll be perplexed to see you, so they’ll quickly try to

Overview

What if you picked out a book to read, but the characters weren’t ready for you yet? A clever new picture book from the creator of the New York Times bestseller Press Here.

Take a peek inside this book and you’ll find some characters (though they’re still a bit sketchy). They’ll be perplexed to see you, so they’ll quickly try to track down their author (who has a lot more work to do). What you won’t find is a story, or a title, because — guess what? The book isn’t finished yet! But surely the author must have a story to tell? In this charming "meta" picture book, children of all ages are encouraged to interact with a book still in the process of being invented. And that’s a story in itself!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/24/2014
With plenty of self-referential good cheer, Tullet (Press Here) makes fun of picture books—and of himself, too. The fourth wall comes down immediately as a hastily scrawled cast of characters—fairy princess, pig, dog, snake, stick figure—look out of the page in faux shock (“Someone’s watching us!”). “I think they would like a story,” says the pig. They scramble to provide entertainment, holding up a cheesy ocean sunset backdrop, then recruiting a bad guy. “I don’t know anything about stories,” says the red monster, who’s more sweet than scary. “You’re going to need someone else... an author!” A door opens to reveal Tullet in his studio, a photo of his aggrieved face pasted onto a scribbled cartoon body. “Sorry,” he says, in comic consternation, “but you can’t stay here.... This book isn’t finished yet!” After creating a hasty story for his characters, the author chases everybody out. Particularly effective is Tullet’s use of varying visual vocabularies to signal the frame stories and the narratives inside them, while exuberant splashes and splotches read as the happy embrace of imperfection. Ages 4–8. (May)
From the Publisher
Tullet breaks the fourth wall in this fantastic book. His characters look readers right in the eye and talk directly to them. ... They’re all unpolished scribbles created with various media and mixed in with smudges, smears, doodles, and notes the author has written to himself. The chaos is great fun and gives the appearance of a book in progress. ... With this book, Tullet adds to his repertoire of interactive creations unparalleled in their cleverness and merriment.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

With plenty of self-referential good cheer, Tullet makes fun of picture books—and of himself, too. ... After creating a hasty story for his characters, the author chases everybody out. Particularly effective is Tullet’s use of varying visual vocabularies to signal the frame stories and the narratives inside them, while exuberant splashes and splotches read as the happy embrace of imperfection.
—Publishers Weekly

Clever new metafiction from the prolific French artist. ... In the adeptly controlled chaos within, Tullet outlines the elements of a good story while supplying kids with plenty of inspiration to create their own.
—Kirkus Reviews

The genius creator of "Press Here" once again involves readers in the action--this time as the audience that inspires his characters to improve upon their story. ... While the characters may be critical of their author, youngsters will be thoroughly entertained by the interplay between Tullet and his creations. This could launch all kinds of discussions about the ingredients for a good story.
—Shelf Awareness

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
A picture book, a board book, or an activity book? Which is it? The answer, to be precise, is a book full of surprises, one that will charm boys and girls alike. From the very first page, in which the characters begin talking to the reader as well as to each other, you know that you have a very special, creative book in your hands. The plot can be loosely described as six characters in search of a story. The characters—a pig, a snake, a stick man, a monster (and a likable one, at that), a dog, and a fairy—decide that they want to entertain the reader with a story. And while they are able to come up with a setting and a villain, the rest is a trifle bit harder. So they set off to find an author: Hervé Tullet himself. Mr. Tullet obliges, and the result is a very funny and entertaining book. The illustrations run the gamut from stick figures to scribbles to splotches of color to full-page pictures that resemble paintings. The colors in the illustrations are bold and gorgeous. The author portrays himself as a curious anomaly: part photograph, part drawing. But the end result is a wholly satisfying experience, and one of the most inventive and creative books for young children to come around in a long time. Translated from the French. Reviewer: Leona Illig; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
★ 05/01/2014
Gr 1–3—Tullet breaks the fourth wall in this fantastic book. His characters look readers right in the eye and talk directly to them. A pig and a princess are busy playing when they notice they are being watched; they stop and call for other characters to come and take a look. They're all unpolished scribbles created with various media and mixed in with smudges, smears, doodles, and notes the author has written to himself. The chaos is great fun and gives the appearance of a book in progress. Tullet himself has a cameo, mugging for the camera in a series of entertaining head shots on top of a drawn torso. His cast of characters begs him for a story so readers won't get bored and go away, and he obliges them. But they're less than impressed with his effort. He feigns offense, and in a wonderful reference to his wildly successful Press Here (Chronicle, 2011), he asks readers to push the button on his desk lamp, leaving the characters in the dark, their bewildered eyes glowing. They ask readers to turn the light back on and express their gratitude with sweet farewells. The pig and princess resume their play. Kids will love the messiness of the pages and the casual, witty dialogue. With this book, Tullet adds to his repertoire of interactive creations unparalleled in their cleverness and merriment.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-31
Clever new metafiction from the prolific French artist (Press Here, 2011, etc.). With a seeming nod to Pirandello's absurdist early-20th-century play Six Characters in Search of an Author, Tullet introduces a literally sketchy cast, utterly discombobulated at having been prematurely discovered. "There are people here... / And they've opened OUR BOOK!" The characters (pink pig, wand-toting fairy, orange dog, green snake, amorphous stick figure and red monster) confer over how best to entertain the "very sweet" readers who've suddenly materialized. First they produce "a bit of background color" (a consciously banal tropical sunset). Concurring that they need a story and, ergo, an author, they remember that they know one! The pack descends upon Tullet. (Wryly, he plays himself, in photographed headshots atop a crayoned blue shirt.) Contrasting with the preceding slapdash, mixed-media tumult, the author's orderly studio (replete with tools of his trade) is rendered in perspective, in thick black line. Pressured by his unruly creations, he supplies a sappy eight-page vignette to get them to clear out. Their negative critique provokes him to order them off (while conspiratorially enlisting readers to "Press HERE, please?" to turn off the desk lamp). The thick, black, paper-over-board cover suggests a sketchbook; in the adeptly controlled chaos within, Tullet outlines the elements of a good story while supplying kids with plenty of inspiration to create their own. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763670214
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
05/13/2014
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
205,811
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Hervé Tullet is the creator of more than fifty children’s books, including Press Here, which has been translated into twenty-seven languages. He loves to provoke surprise with his books, as well as in the dynamic workshops that he takes part in. He lives in Paris and is celebrated internationally for his playful, inventive, and interactive storytelling.

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