Like all Hervé Tullet creations, Say Zoop! is fun and original. It begins with a blue dot on the page. The audience is invited to press it and say OH! After playing with different ways of saying OH!, the blue dot is joined by the red dot, AH! A riot of noise and sound ensues. When they are joined by another friend, a yellow dot and the sound of WAAHOO!, the fun seems to be never ending. Various colours and noise are added until the end, which is open for further exploration.
This is such a fun book and begs to be read aloud. It is perfect for story time and introducing young readers not only to sounds, but also to colours, numbers, and musical scores. There is so much potential for further story construction and sound making for Tullet leaves the ending open, daring young readers to explore further.
The postmodern tendencies in Say Zoop! are plentiful. The direct interaction with the audience, and nature of this interaction means there is no traditional plot, character or setting, making a mockery of the traditional form. The voice speaks directly to the viewer, instructing what they are to do and what noise is to be made when the dots are touched. This is an unusual use of the narrator’s voice when compared with conventional picture books. Fans of Tullet will know it is not unusual for his creations, though! This voice makes the viewer construct the narrative as they read and interact with the mismatched illustrative and written text. Various readings are possible for various audiences and self-referentiality is present throughout, with the text drawing attention to itself explicitly.
Metafictional books such as this bring the world of visual and verbal narratives together and make them dance. They are a real treat for young readers.
Highly recommended for all public libraries and story time sessions. This would be invaluable in a pre-school library and would make a brilliant gift for a young one. Absolutely brilliant!
Many thanks to Allen & Unwin for supplying this book for review.