Growing Reader

Books Like Press Here: 8 Interactive Stories for Hands-On Kids

by Janssen Bradshaw

I clearly remember the first time I saw Press Here by Hervé Tullet.

My first baby was only a few months old, so she had no interest in it, but my husband and I looked through the whole thing together, completely awed by the creativity and cleverness of the concept of an interactive book.

It’s been over 10 years since it came out, and I’ve discovered a whole host of other interactive books similar to Press Here. They are some of my children’s favorites, getting read over and over again.

And why not? When a page turn makes it seem as if you’re controlling the action on the page, it’s just a magical reading experience!

Here are eight books like Press Here that are favorites at our house.

  • Splat!

    by Jon Burgerman

    Get ready for all kinds of messiness! Turn the pages to get a pie straight to the face or experience an onslaught of water balloons. Parents will appreciate that the comedy in this book requires no actual cleanup; kids will love the laughs and playful take on what a book can be and do.
    (Ages 3 - 5)

  • This Book Is Magic

    by Ashley Evanson

    My family is obsessed with this book! Using your “magic finger,” you say magical phrases for each page and make ships disappear, books turn enormous, and fireworks go off. The illustrations are bright and fun, and this book instantly became my new gift of choice for young children.
    (Ages 3 - 7)

  • On the Spot

    by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Lea Redmond, illustrated by Sanne Te Loo

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    Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s legacy of creativity and originality lives on in this new book that’s perfect for kids looking to take charge of their story. Here she teams up with Lea Redmond to create a Mad Libs-style adventure where readers are asked to fill in key pieces of the story. Using the stickers at the back of the book, or their own found objects, kids can make and re-make the story, with hilarious results.
    (Ages 3 - 7)

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  • This Book Will Not Be Fun

    by Cirocco Dunlap, illustrated by Olivier Tallec

    The bespectacled, bow-tied mouse narrating this book is doing his darndest to make sure the reader has a peaceful time of it — despite all the shenanigans going on in the background (including a Word-Eating Flying Whale!). Don’t worry, assures the mouse, this book will be no fun at all! Or will it be the most fun?
    (Ages 3 - 7)

  • I Will Chomp You

    by Jory John, illustrated by Bob Shea

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    Jory John always delivers the laughs, and this toothy story is no exception. A grumpy monster blusters and pleads and warns the reader that he’ll give them a chomp if they don’t stop reading. You see, the monster has a secret treasure inside that he doesn’t want the reader to find. The silly monster makes himself ever sillier as he falls behind until the funny, delicious end.
    (Ages 3 - 7)

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  • Find Fergus

    by Mike Boldt

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    Fergus the bear has many talents, but hide and seek isn’t one of them. Prepare for some belly laughs while Fergus hides in all the most obvious places. At the very end, Fergus finally figures it out — in a two-page, fold-out panoramic that will test readers’ seeking skills for real.
    (Ages 3 - 7)

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  • Don’t Touch This Book!

    by Bill Cotter

    Of course you’re going to want to touch this book. But you really can’t. Larry knows you’re thinking about it and he knows it’s tempting, but just don’t. Okay, maybe if you just use one finger. But whoops! What just happened? On every page, things go hilariously awry as Larry learns to share his beloved book.
    (Ages 4 - 8)

  • Wreck This Picture Book

    by Keri Smith

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    The bestselling creator of Wreck This Journal has brought her creative energy to picture books, culminating in the ultimate interactive experience. Reading is an active experience, Smith says, and books are meant to engage all the senses — so get ready to sniff, shake, tap, smell, hug, and even wear this one-of-a-kind book.
    (Ages 5 - 8)

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2021.