Category Archives: Pop-Up Showcase

Pop-Up Showcase: Every pop-up library needs…

…this book! We love it! Written by Don Compton, beautifully illustrated by Dave Ember, and wonderfully engineered by Bruce Foster, America’s National Parks, A Pop-Up Book brings our national parks to life. The publisher’s goal is to raise $100,000 to support the parks. You can buy your copy here or on Amazon. Happy travels!

Pop-Up Showcase: Concentrate and you can…

…Feel the Force!  After Transformers, science is one of our favorite topics around the studio. This incredible, hilarious pop-up book, Super Science: Feel the Force! (Templar, 2011), by writer Tom Adams, illstrator Thomas Flintham and paper engineer Andy Mansfield, explores the mysteries of physics through fun pull-tabs and pop-ups. Recommended for ages 7-10.  Trust us, if you had seen Matthew’s low grades in high school physics class, you’d agree this is a must for any collection!

Pop-Up Showcase: Stand-Up Switzerland

Ellen Rubin brought my attention to a new series of pop-up books promoting Switzerland and its many cultural, natural and architectural wonders. There are six books in the series created by Stand Up Switzerland, and the publisher boasts of being “the original” as well as “the no. 1 3D-Book of Switzerland.”

I had the opportunity to review two titles in the series and opted to focus on the major cities of Zurich and Bern. Looks like I chose well as the copy of “Best of Bern” displayed a sticker plainly stating “probably the best Swiss Souvenir-Book”.

The designers cram almost 40 pages of information in the 12” x 9” format that features a pop-up map of the host region on the first spread as well as a large complex paper engineered structure with accompanying pop-up side flap in the center of the book. In Bern, the Bundeshaus (Parliament building) unfolds to a satisfyingly solid structure. For Zurich, the Grossmunster cathedral takes center stage to St. Peter’s clock tower. The good people at Refeka really did a nice job with the paper engineering.

Since this is a promotion catering to the tourism trade, all the books are printed in German, French, English, Chinese and Japanese. Additionally, pop-up cards are available for purchase at the online store. With the aid of Google translation and helpful English email correspondence I had no trouble ordering these welcome editions. If you are interested in a unique souvenir of your time abroad or wish to supplement your pop-up collection, I recommend you consider picking some up.

Pop-Up Showcase: Big Frog Can’t Fit In

Mo Willems  had set his sights on the humble frog.  Not just any frog but a frog SO big she can’t fit inside the book. Mo teamed up with Bruce Foster to create the first ever “Pop-Out” book.  Big Frog Can’t Fit In was released this week by Hyperion and I was fortunate enough to get a copy for myself.

The nine-inch by nine inch book comes in a tall resealable bag with an additional orange box that protects the dangling froggie toes from getting smashed on the bookshelf. The six spreads feature oversized pop-ups and playful pull tabs designed out of sturdy heavyweight paper.  (This book has the potential to stand up to some very curious little hands.)  I am also very impressed with how the positive storyline is integrated with the pop-ups.  You can tell Mo and Bruce really had fun making this book.

In fact when I asked Bruce about his experience with the book and the collaboration he had this to say. “Mo was great to work with. Very funny guy.  When they called me with his idea I had to slap my head like in the V-8 commercials, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?!!’ Ha.”

One of my favorite details of the book involves Big Frog flashing a gold tooth as she shrinks on the page.  It’s the little things like this that make the book worthy of reading over and over at bedtime. (or playtime, or anytime!)

Now that the pop-out book is out Mo and Bruce are had at work in a variety of different projects.  Keep an eye on Mo’s blog to get a taste of what’s to come out of his studio. As for Bruce Foster, well he is the most prolific paper engineer I have ever met. This month FOUR new titles he paper engineered are coming out: Big Frog Can’t Fit In, The Sound of Music, Angels and the Sports Illustrated Kid’s Wow! The Pop Up Book of Sports.  I’m looking forward to seeing them all!

Pop-Up Showcase: Dinosaurs: A Pop-Up Book

As a kid, I only ever owned one pop-up book. It made a huge impression on me – one that would not resurface until much later in my life. All kids love dinosaurs, and that’s what my only pop-up book was all about. I was one of those kids who knew WAY too much about those prehistoric beasties – annoyingly correcting every adult who dared mispronounce their names.

Pretty cool book – right? It inspired me to create my own series of prehistoric pop-ups, the Encyclopedia Prehistorica series (Dinosaurs, Sharks & Sea Monsters, and Megabeasts).

My memories of this book are much different than what you all see in these pictures. My little sister Erin (who was 2 years old at the time) also enjoyed this book a great deal. Let’s just say that all of the pop-up dinosaurs inside also went extinct – she tore the book to pieces! Now I have a new copy of Dinosaurs: A Pop-Up Book – and my little sister or Lilly (my brand-new niece) will never get their mitts on it!

Pop-Up Showcase: Vintage Pop-Up Stripe Books

Today we are looking at some very rare Italian pop-up activity books. Ever since I was given “Cappuccetto Russo” and “I Tre Porcellini” I have been curious about this series of handmade DIY pop-up books. So I went to the source, the Bologna-based paper engineer, Massimo Missiroli. He was kind enough to provide some background on these books which he started in 1997.

The titles include:

Red Riding Hood (1997) illustrated by Zampiga Milena
Three Little Pigs (1998) illustrated by Silvia Bartoletti
Nursery Rhymes
Snow White
Hansel & Gretel

Each title has different dimensions and comprise of a number of black and white printed sheets that are sealed in a plastic bag. A rough translation of the promotional material is as follows:

“POP-UP stripe is a new series of cards in which we intend to show operational techniques for the construction of mini-books that will have classic fairy tales as their subject. Build each pop-up book which consists of five pages on a single folded strip of paper.”

Massimo came up with the idea while leading pop-up workshops with children. He decided to start his own small publishing company. Then he created and assembled the packets and sold the Pop-up Stripes via mail orders. Around 2002, the Italian publisher Quercetti bought the concept and released new versions of Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs and Pinocchio. At that time, Massimo published a wonderful pop-up version of Pinocchio for Emme Edizioni.

Pop-Up Showcase: M.C. Escher Pop-Ups

Our friend Courtney Watson McCarthy brings M.C. Escher’s graphic art into pop-up 3D splendor in this beautiful coffee table book from BlueRed Press Ltd (2011). The book includes descriptions of the artwork and quotes from Escher himself.

Pop-Up Showcase: Human Body

Human Body: An Interactive Guide to the Inner Workings of the Body by Steve Parker (Barron’s 2008) has fantastic photos, illustrations, pull-tabs, pop-ups and other interactive features (engineered by Alan Brown and Zerina White). There’s a lot to discover here for kids of all ages. I liked opening the skull with the brain inside!