Thursday, March 27, 2008

Playing with Pop-ups!

This is my second and final evening reference desk rotation for the spring term. As such this post is an "at lunch" posting even thought it is after 7:00 pm. After retrieving the second half of my foot long Subway sub special ($5 for a foot long, not a bad deal), I noticed a new cart of children's books sitting in the technical services area. Amongst the titles were three new pop-up books I ordered; two by David A. Carter because I was so enthralled with his recent book 600 Black Spots, and a third I just now noticed is also by Carter.

One Red Dot is part counting book and part pop-up art exhibit. Each page features bright paper sculptures, red, yellow, blue, white, and black, offering readers the opportunity to count to ten and find ... one red dot. Simple text, "One perplexing puzzle box and one red dot," accompanies each double page spread of engaging boxes, "wiggle-wobble widgets," and orbs. Readers are invited to pull tabs and twist the twirly gigs, while looking for the rarely obvious red dot within.

Blue 2 is part alphabet book, part hide-and-seek, and as with One Red Dot, definitely artistic in nature. Simple directional text, "Abundant Blossoms Collide and a hidden Blue 2," provides readers with clues to the "2" well camouflaged within each pop-up design. Pull tabs, sliding tags, wheels, and pyramids in what seems to be Carter's trademark brights are captivating. The Blue 2's are challenging, but great fun to share.

Devoid of exuberant colors, Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who Pop-Up! , with pop-ups by Carter, is faithful to both the original story and it's accompanying illustration color pallet. Pop-ups range from full page architectural renderings of Horton and Who-ville, complete with hockey playing Who-ville-ites and friends to multiple individual vignettes featuring tabs and ribbons to move characters along with action in the text. Each pop-up illustration has both depth and color suited to the mood of the story. Less exuberant than One Red Dot and Blue 2, Horton is no less stunning to read and enjoy. This is an enjoyable, interactive version of an old favorite.

Interested in pop-up books? Give any of these a try. Another of my favorites is The Christmas Alphabet, by Robert Sabuda.

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