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Kids' Pop-Up Books

3D gift books



Pop-up New York

By Jennie Maizels (Candlewick Press; $19.99; ages 5-9)

The five pop-ups in Jennie Maizels’ 3D travelogue make the gigantic look gigantic (the Empire State Building) and the iconic stand out iconically (the New York Public Library). New New York is on display, in the High Line and a pop-up of the Rockefeller Center skating rink that mentions Saks Fifth Avenue across the street. Travel farther afield to Yankee Stadium and its Bronx surroundings, including the zoo. Whether it inspires a day trip or just a night of armchair travel in front of the fireplace, the book conveys the city’s diversity and highlights.


Art History Paper Dolls

By Kyle Hilton (Chronicle Books; $12.95; all ages)

This pretty hysterical short survey focuses on 16 artists, from Leonardo da Vinci to comic book–influenced Roy Lichtenstein. Each artist’s hardboard page depicts an easel showing a famous work in progress, surrounded by small paper-doll cutouts of characteristic artifacts — think van Gogh’s ear next to a pair of scissors. Props include ballet slippers for Edgar Degas, a fruit bowl for Paul Cézanne and a urinal and chessboard for Marcel Duchamp. Each page also contains a few choice words that mention famous titles and fun facts (Salvador Dalí once made a film with Walt Disney). It’s recommended reading for wiseguys of any age. 


3D Keepsake Cityscapes and 3D Expanding Pocket Guides

(Candlewick Press; $8.99; ages 5 and up)

This ingenious series covers individual cities (Dublin, Venice, Hong Kong, Washington, DC) and museums (the Louvre, the Met). Pages fold out like an accordion and pop up into famous images from each location. Though only 4½-by-4 inches, each box holds a 14-panel double spread cleverly mixing a line drawing of the site with a short but pithy and enlightening explanation. Unlike most tourist guides, they are wonderfully compact and informative, a keepsake for long after a visit or an enticement to get up and go. 

Frank Lipsius is a contributing writer to MetroKids.

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