This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Finally! They’re all here. So now . . .

place your hand on the page, close your eyes, and count to five.

of it together. What is a book, when all’s said and done, and what could it be? Tullet obviously enjoys pushing the boundaries of his artform and finds creative inspiration in pursuing these and other questions. His interest in the individual moments of a book experience, rather than

‘ To harness a child’s understanding of

the possibilities of the touchscreen and subvert it in the service of something quite different is pure Tullet

a sense of unfolding narrative, together with his preoccupation with the imaginary space in which that experience takes place reflect his own artistic interests and influences. Tullet says that he can be ‘ill at ease with the idea of a drawing on a wall’, for example, but finds installations potentially much more memorable and arresting.

Tullet’s own creative process can be uncomfortable. A large amount of thinking and exploration time is required for each book. Once the book is ready to emerge it can happen quickly, partly because at this point Tullet works with an urgency that can feel quite oppressive. Press Here, for example, took shape over the course of only two days. Luckily for Tullet, he accepts and even welcomes the making of mistakes. Describing himself as the ‘Master of Errors’, part of Tullet’s creative process involves playing with improvised marks to inspire the work that follows. Given Tullet’s need to be constantly challenged and intrigued, it’s no surprise that his technique and choice of media vary from book to book. He can take a graphic and painterly approach - on Alphabet Poem with Michael Rosen, for example - but many of his other books have no graphic representation at all. ‘Each book stands for itself,’ he says. ‘I’m not a theoretician or an educator… but a maker of books that explore an idea.’ And while he’s working on a book and taking its content and execution as far as it will go, he’s already thinking about the next. Above all else, Tullet wants his readers to sit up, take notice and engage with his work. Time is always short, but ‘there’s still an enormous amount to do’, and one of the biggest satisfactions of the job is seeing children ‘running for the pencils’ once he’s finished a reading or a workshop and is leaving the room. n

The Books

Mix It Up!, Chronicle Books, 978-1452137353, £9.99 Press Here, Chronicle Books, 978-0811879545, £9.99 Alphabet Poem, Milet Publishing, 978-1840593938, £10.99 The Game in the Dark, Phaidon Press, 978-0714864853, £7.95

Carey Fluker Hunt is Creative Projects Manager of Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books.


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