Eye-Popping Pop-Up Books for Kids


Now that the major kids’ purveyors like Disney and DC Comics have recruited master pop-up book creators like Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart, Beauty and the Beast and DC Super Heroes provide eye-popping story-telling in a new way.

Matthew Reinhart’s pop-up book DC Super Heroes (Little Brown, $29.99) is like a reference book on Superman, Batman, the Warrior Goddess, Green Lantern and a whole galaxy of heroes and heroines capable of leaping off the page, if not tall buildings. Each large and powerful hero image is accompanied by two smaller pop-ups that give background and visions of their enemies to make each one distinct and knowable to any new hero-worshipper who needs filling in.

Robert Sabuda’s Beauty and the Beast (Little Simon, $29.99) has gigantic main pop-ups accompanied by side-bar stories with their own pages that fill in the story and add more pop-ups.

Together, Reinhart and Sabuda created Gods & Heroes (Candlewick, $29.99), which travels around the world to provide striking images and background to the myths ranging in origin from Greece and Egypt to the Norse and Iroquois. Each page has three more little stories that have their own pop-ups and enough information to introduce their subjects and show similarities and differences to myths and traditions readers already know.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and Paul Hess (Silver Dolphin, $18.95) and Birds: Sounds of the Wild by Maurice Pledger (Silver Dolphin, $16.95) take pop-ups to a new level with sounds to go along with the pop-up images. The sound of the hour chiming accompanies the vision of Peter, Wendy and John flying past Big Ben in the evocative opening page of Peter Pan. Many other pages with sounds are a reminder of just how much audio is part of Peter Pan, including the clock ticking inside the crocodile looking for Captain Hook. The Birds book makes distinctive sounds for birds of the meadow, mountains, wetlands and forests, distinguishing both the kind of birds and the noises to expect in those habitats.

Gaby Goldsack, Lee Montgomery and Anthony Williams’s Amazing Airplanes (Silver Dolphin, $14.95) includes five complete gliders that readers can make themselves. The rest of the book gives stories and histories of the planes, which provide the background for an economical hands-on kit.

Hands-on reaches a new level with Movie Maker: Everything You Need to Know to Create Films on Your Cell Phone or Digital Camera (Candlewick, $19.99). Besides opening like a clapper so the book itself can start a scene, the package includes a director’s handbook and tabbed subjects for sound studio, props and special effects, animation studio and premiere night — everything to make a movie, step-by-step.

Fun and intriguing as these spectacular pop-ups are, anyone can do them, according to Ruth Wickings and Frances Castle’s Pop-Up (Candlewick, $19.99), which, as the subtitle explains, has “Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book.” Its techniques page explains angle and parallel folds, showing the things that can be made from them. The pieces for making a dragon, castle, Frankenstein and jungle are included for do-it-yourself as a starting point to create more and elaborate pop-ups. It is hard to believe how far pop-ups have come or where they might go from here.

Frank Lipsius is a contributing writer to MetroKids.


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