Friday, November 28, 2008

So Many Pop-Ups

It seems to me that pop-up books are getting more and more popular and so we are getting more and more of them published each year. It makes me wonder how Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda have time to eat or sleep. A lot of times, I'm not thrilled with the sheer amount of text mixed in with the marvelous paper engineering and it makes me wonder if anyone actually reads them. However, there were two this year that I absolutely loved and felt were just right. These are Brava, Strega Nona! by Tomie DePaola with pop-ups by Sabuda and Reinhart and ABC 3-D by Marion Bataille, a name that was new to me. These two celebrate the craft of fabulous paper ingenuity without too much text, making them only a pleasure with no guilt.

Brava, Strega Nona! is an absolute delight. It celebrates the joys of family, food, and community life; all with references to Tomie DePaola's much loved heroine and the exploits of her friends. The first page is a huge, pop-up family tree with all of Strega Nona's relatives. On a page with a village scene there are little windows to open and lots to see - it's very detailed. My favorite page features a pop-out flood of spaghetti with poor Big Anthony getting swept away!

ABC 3-D has a wonderful website with a book trailer included so you can see for yourself what the book looks like as a pair of hands turns the pages and demonstrates the variety of creative movements that the book can make. I love this book because it is sheer paper engineering, without a story. Each letter has a unique design and some of them are extremely clever.

Both of these titles would make wonderful gift books for children, book lovers, or artists in your life.

1 comment:

Carol Barton said...

Dear Gwen,

Both of the books you've listed are wonderful examples of this genre. Children also love making their own pop-up cards and pages--it helps them develop three-dimensional design skills, problem-solving techniques and storytelling abilities. My "Pocket Paper Engineer" workbooks show step-by-step how to make each pop-up structure, and I know from having taught these techniques for over twenty-five years that they work for all ages. A love of books and of making things by hand is such an important part of a well-rounded education! Thanks for the posting, Carol Barton