October 12, 2015
Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter
Don’t Push the Button
written and illustrated by Bill Cotter
It starts on page one when Larry the monster warns the readers “Don’t push the button.” The warnings get stronger and stronger until Larry just can’t stand it. He has to know what happens when someone does push the button. What could possibly go wrong?
Larry has all the sass of Mo Willem’s Pigeon (Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus) and just as clearly recognizes both that sass and a few defiant tendencies in young readers. But don’t think he is just Pigeon in a monster suit. Although Larry speaks directly to the reader, as does Pigeon, the reader actually gets to take part in Larry’s story.
Seriously, be ready for some eager button pushing once your young story lover discovers that pushing it once changed Larry from purple to neon yellow and pushing it a second time gives him spots. You may have to brace the book. I’m not joking.
Cotter’s mixed media art work is bright and engaging. Young readers will be attracted to both the fun, bright colors but also the simple forms. As is so often the case, the eyes have it — emotion that is. The drawings may be simple but Larry manages to be happy, sincere and scared all at appropriate times.
Because, as with all great picture books, this is about more than who can really push a button. It is a story about consequences, exploration and adventure all wrapped up in a very simple package.