Book cover of Tap! Tap! Tap! by Herve Tullet

UKLA Book Group and Tap! Tap! Tap! by Herve Tullet

Tap! Tap! Tap! Dance! Dance! Dance! By Hervé Tullet 

Tap! Tap! Tap! Dance! Dance! Dance! is a text without a linear narrative but it instead explores the way that children might physically engage with a book by moving their fingers amongst the pictures and replicating the movement presented within the text. When we first encountered the book with its limited words and simple abstract illustrations, we weren’t sure there would be much to discuss but the more we delved into the pictures and the overall journey of the text, the more we had to say! 

The bold, primary coloured illustrations reflect a painterly style with brush strokes and blobs of paint evident on the pages. Dark blue is used to indicate the movement the children need to make with their hands which allows for the primary colours to stand out against the white background. The simple shapes are fluid and reflective of the finger movements the children may engage with when reading the text; such shapes contrast effectively with the sharp angular shapes evident within the upper-case font. As the book progresses the illustrations become loser in style and there is an increase in pace until the finale which is celebrated with a round of applause for the performance. 

A key theme that was identified when reading this book was the way in which it encouraged active engagement with the reader in order to question notions of reading being a solitary and still process. The freedom to actively join in with the text physically with your own actions and movement was perceived as demonstrating the social nature of reading which could be particularly supportive for neurodivergent readers who may read in a different way.  

In conclusion, the book group loved that the book promoted a way of reading that was so engaging and interactive. The text within the book directly addresses the reader and we were absorbed in replicating the movements presented and having fun with the book. We felt the real strength of this book was the way in which it challenged how reading may be perceived so that all children could potentially feel like excellent readers! 

How the text might be used in the classroom 

  • Developing instructional writing with use of imperative verbs to encourage readers to engage with the book in a new way 
  • Create a movement for their own page with accompanying art work 
  • Making a class book with a range of unique movements from each child 
  • Focus on the use of punctation to explore how it adds to meaning making (exclamation marks and ellipsis) 
  • Exploration of vocabulary to explore movement 
  • Cross curricular links with P.E and Art 

Follow Hervé Tullet on his website here: Herve-Tullet | Art | Books | Education

Hervé Tullet talks about what makes a good picture book:


The UKLA book group is a group of students and lecturers who meet together to discuss contemporary Children’s Literature that has been longlisted for the UKLA Children’s Book Awards.  The 6 texts chosen are from across the 3-6+, 7-10+ and non-fiction categories. From engaging with the book group, we have all had the opportunity to develop our professional and personal knowledge of recently published literature and through our discussions we have considered how the texts are constructed to support meaning making, the learning opportunities provided by the texts and why each text is an important book within the canon of Children’s Literature. Below you will find reviews of the books we have read; all of which are available in the Curriculum Centre, including Tap! Tap! Tap! Dance! Dance! Dance!

The 2024 longlist for the book awards can be found here:

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