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children's literature from a pineapple-lover's point of view…

So I’ve been wracking my brain trying to decide which excuse works best for why I haven’t written in almost a month and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. I could complain that the rest of August was filled with whirlwind family vacations that took me up and down the California coast and as far as Mexico so that left no time for writing, let along thinking, about books.
  2. I could mention that I flew to Boston with my eighteen-year-old cat on the 31st, moved into my new place on the 1st and the 2nd, and started classes only a few short days later and haven’t had time to do anything but read a list of scifi/fantasy books and essays due for class on Thursday.
  3. I could even blame the internet because I didn’t have wifi in my new house for almost two weeks and we all know that two weeks in blog time is, like, FOREVER and whatever I say now is probably archaic anyway.
  4. Or I could just suck it up and write a new post. Prepare yourselves.

So during the shame-on-me month I took off I got the chance to reorganize all of my books and rediscover my pop-up book collection which is something I’m excited to write about today. Pop-up books were actually my first introduction to the world of children’s literature almost four years ago and since then I have acquired seventeen by several different artists.

Like picturebooks, there is a ton of thought put into the text and the illustration but pop-up books take it one step further by incorporating engineering. True pop-up bookists know that illustrations are not enough and that the most memorable books are those that push the limits of paper engineering

It’s impossible to mention pop-up books without talking about the amazing Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart. Innovators of the pop-up book industry, Sabuda and Reinhart have managed to stand out by engineering books that are engaging, colorful, and informative. Although they have released dozens of books between the two of them, (Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, and The Wizard of Oz just to name a few), their most notable (and beautiful and amazing and incredible) pop-ups are those on which they collaborated. Encyclopedia Mythologica: Dragons & Monsters, Encyclopedia Mythologica: Fairies and Magical Creatures, and Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods & Heroes are the most beautifully designed picturebooks I have ever seen. The engineering is almost flawless and every page is adorned not only with a central pop-up but multiple pop-ups in the corners of every page. The books are informative about different culture’s myths and the illustrations beautifully enhance the text and the fact that fairies’ wings flip and the dragon is made of streamers only serves to make the books even more wonderful.

Some other burgeoning pop-up book artists include David Pelham (Trail), Sam Ita (Frankenstein: A Pop-Up Book), and even Mo Willems who came out with Big Frog Can’t Fit In not too long ago. Again, they are not up to the paper engineering standards of Sabuda and Reinhart but they are also worth checking out, especially because each has a little surprise to offer the reader.

That’s all for now. I promise to write more promptly next time and hope everyone had a great month!

Pop-uppingly yours,


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