A Plethora of Pop-Ups

img_84661Lynn: Occasionally our focus group takes the editorial reins in their hands and dictates the subject of our post.  That is the case with today’s post.  Generous publishers have sent us a number of wonderful pop-up books this year that the boys have especially enjoyed.  They’ve gone from asking politely if we’ve blogged about these to being downright militant.   I have NO idea how they got to be so stubborn!  They are right though – these are terrific books that kids will love.  Pop-ups often trigger my library-collection-development-wariness because they are so fragile but sometimes I think you just have to go with them because of their fascination for kids and plan on some replacement.  I will say that today’s have gotten rigorous testing and are surviving very well.  Here are some on our current playlist.

Amazing Pop-Up Big Machines by Robert Crowther (Candlewick 2010).  Pop-ups AND machines!  This is a can’t-miss combination for our focus group and I suspect most little boys and budding engineers.  Each page of this large book opens up to a big machine as promised.  Textual sidebars explain how the machines work and provide fascinating facts.  An added bonus is the additional paper pieces that can be played with such as boulders for the dump truck and a plow for the tractor.

Popville by Anouck Boisrobert and Louis Rigaud (Roaring Brook) is a fascinating and unique pop-up that our focus group has really enjoyed.  The first page opens to reveal a few small buildings and a tree-lined road.  Each subsequent page shows the additions of many types of buildings, roads, construction equipment and infrastructure as the rural scene becomes a city.  The pages are wordless with the exception of the last two that describe the needs of a growing city in child-centered terms and ask questions that will send the child back to the pages to look more closely.  This would be terrific for primary classrooms working on community curricular units!   This one is a great discussion starter but fun for individuals as well.

Cindy: The fascination with all things mythological at my middle schools (thank you Rick Riordan) has seeped over into the daily enjoyment of Gods & Heroes by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda (Candlewick 2010). Whether it is the violent Polynesian goddess Pele popping up out of an erupting volcano or mighty Thor swinging his legendary hammer straight at the reader, the teens are entranced. Lots of additional flap-lifting informational side bars with smaller pop ups add to the fun. Since this is almost 3 inches thick and would take a beating in backpacks despite its sturdy construction I placed it in the reference collection, but it stays on top of the shelves and is a popular attraction at lunch.

hayden-and-penguinsIn what feels like a send up to “10 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed,” this pop-up, Little Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joëlle Jolivet (Abrams 2010) and translated from the French, starts with ten penguins and with each pop-up and interactive page turn, readers help one penguin at a time disappear…but never fear…

Ten little penguins were playing tricks
Disappearing just for kicks
All you have to do is count to ten
And all the penguins come back again.

The bright colors and fun rhyming text make this perfect for very young pop-up fans, especially once they realize that the penguins have not each met some dire fate (especially the poor little guy, left all alone with no one to warm him, who hops a bus to Valparaiso–ha!)

img_85221Lynn: (again)  And lastly we have the perfect pop-up book for everyone who has ever wondered, “How do they DO that?”  With paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, Pop-Up:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book (Candlewick 2010) begins with an explanatory page explaining techniques and then provides a pop-up example that demonstrates the art along with more instructions.  4 projects follow with tear off pages and punch out paper pieces.  Each project is accompanied by detailed instructions and the background pages are clearly marked.  There is a castle, a dragon, Frankenstein’s lab and a jungle scene.  These projects are complex, require fine motor skills and the ability to read and follow directions so the book is best for older children and/or as a project with an adult.  Our  focus group can’t wait to try this but I’m planning on this being a grandfather-father-sons project for Thanksgiving.  We’ll let you know how it goes!

nonfictionmonday1Thanks to Practically Paradise for hosting Nonfiction Monday this Thanksgiving Week!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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