The game of mirrors, by Hervé Tullet


Hervé Tullet is an incredible book maker who needs no introductions. His books encourage self-oriented play and read. His books explore the meanings behind nonverbal communication -books with no printed words, just shapes and concepts that are ready to be crafted. An open call to exploration, learning and creativity.

This interesting little book, The game of mirrors, is printed in black over a mirrored board by PHAIDON. Now, before we dive in, I want to undress a couple of things related to mirrors and toddlers.

Researchers believe that toddlers can recognize themselves in the mirror around 20 months old. This means that until that age your toddler will see someone else in her reflection -this alone may be confusing and puzzling even frustrating for someone who is trying to figure out the world! This is the reason why a lot of educators and phychologists object the idea of having a mirror in your baby’s room -and this is something you might have seen in a Montessori based room or classroom.

My advice would be to challenge your toddler yet in a safe, constructive way.

Back to the book now, which might be the answer:

This book has nothing but mirrored hard pages and shapes. I used this book with a 4-year-old the other week with great success: he just started playing with the book by mentioning the profound “I can see myself in this book”.

Now, keep in mind that our educational goal in that session was a number sequence -regardless, the book was a remarkable journey for my young learner. We started counting the shapes which overlap, intersect and seem to have a pretty unique dialogue. The existence of some holes made this journey even more appealing. My young learner held the book up high and he observed the ways he could see through them!

It was a successful first encounter with this unique book.

The game of mirrors is an example of the numerous paths a book may unfold. Just don’t stay on the surface. Try not to guide or give away a narrative but to stay available without being intrusive.

Keep in mind that any book is a wonderful opportunity to reflect, discuss and explore.

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