Amazing Pop-Up Books for All Ages

BookendsCindy: Pop-up books amaze and delight and sometimes inspire challenging crafting. I have an assortment of pop-up books in my middle school in the leisure-reading area and they are looked at daily. They make the best coffee-table books ever. Readers of all ages will be fascinated by the pop-up books we have for you today, starting with Welcome to the Neighborwood (2015) by Shawn Sheehy. When Robert Sabuda blurbs a pop-up book you know there’s a treat in store.

If you’ve avoided adding pop-up books to your library
because of their fragile nature, please reconsider.

Welcome to the NeighborwoodThis colorful, intricate book showcases forest animals that are all builders. It opens with the land snail, who forms his home from calcium and proteins that ooze from folds in his back. The snail links to the next animal, the hummingbird (who uses calcium to make her eggs), sitting on a nest in a leafy tree. The nest-building process is explained and then this creature is linked to the next, the garden spider, because the bird uses the silky threads the spider spins to reinforce her nest. And so it goes, one forest-animal builder linked to the next, reinforcing the connections between animals sharing a habitat. A small note on each page provides context for the size of the animal, using child-friendly comparisons.

“At the length of a baseball bat (not counting his tail), the beaver is the world’s second largest rodent.”

And the final spread with all of the animals together? Wow. Don’t take my word for it, head to Shawn Sheehy’s website and watch the trailer for Welcome to the Neighborwood for a visual tour through the book.

If you’ve avoided adding pop-up books to your library because of their fragile nature, please reconsider. Most of mine hold up a lot longer than the manga books! I’m thinking of making a pop-up makerspace station this fall. I found some instructions here and I’m sure there are plenty more out there.

small world coverLynn: Pop-up books are a true art form! I am fascinated by the creativity and craftsmanship that goes into their creation and by the amazing variety of approaches to the format. Two wonderful examples were just recently sent to us by Little Gestalten, an imprint of Gestalten, a company founded in Berlin in 1995. The first is The Small World of Paper Toys (Oct. 2015) by Gerard Lo Monaco. This small, colorful book features pages that open to reveal one of 10 toys from an earlier period. Each colorful toy is set off by the white background and includes the name of the toy and a brief comment by an unseen child. The last delightful page shows all ten of the toys on the floor surrounding a bed and text that exclaims, “What a mess. I took everything out to play!” One of the nice features is that the pop-ups are activated simply by opening each page, and the book has no fragile moving parts, meaning it should survive repeated use.

Not all pop-up books are for young children, of course.

routes coverNot all pop-up books are for young children, of course, and Legendary Routes of the World (Nov. 2015) by Alexandre Verhille and Sarah Tavernier, is a book that will delight older readers. This spectacular book opens with an unfolding world map showing five famous historical routes: the Silk Road, the Aeropostale, the Route du Rhum, Route 66, and the Journey to the Moon. Each page turn reveals a three-dimensional scene with information about the route provided in intriguing fold-outs. Information includes length of the route, date or time period it was used, and other interesting tidbits. Each page is a visual treat but perhaps the most breathtaking is the fold-out/pop-up representing the Silk Road, featuring a double-page pop-up scene of mountains, buildings, camels, riders, and explorers coming together from East and West. A mustached figure and a scarf-wearing dog appear in each scene. This book is fairly sturdily constructed with one or two additional fold-outs to be opened on each page. Would-be travelers will surely be driven to seek out more information about each fascinating route.



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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