Tap to Play!

Salina Yoon. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-228684-0
In a book channeling the aesthetic and interactivity of an app (the glossy pages are even suggestive of a touch screen), Yoon introduces Blip, a red dot with eyes and legs who asks readers for help. “I need to reach that bar to win the game,” he says from the corner of a blank white spread, a blue bar appearing diagonally opposite. First, he requests readers “shake the book so I can bounce,” which results in wild ricocheting; in subsequent scenes, children are told to flip and tilt the book, and to tap Blip himself. “OUCH! Not that hard,” he protests, after his body is flattened with a “SPLAT!” Yoon is aiming for the same audience as Hervé Tullet’s Press Here and subsequent interactive titles of its kind. But while Blip’s pratfalls and overreactions should prompt some laughs, Blip’s generic appearance and one-note personality keep him in the realm of digital avatar, rather than a character to invest in, and the interactive payoffs, including the “surprise” at the end of the game, fall flat. Ages 4–8. Agent: Jamie Weiss Chilton, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/18/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
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