& Coffee Table Corner: Pop-Up Books

I don’t remember what my first ever reaction to a pop-book was, but it was probably full of awe and delight. A book that moved! A scene in 3-D! (although I probably didn’t have a clue what 3-D meant – I was most likely a toddler) And I still find pop-up books impressive. Especially with some of these crazy impressive, laser cut, multiple pop-up, expandable numbers coming out lately. Pop-up books aren’t just for kids and their ABC’s anymore.

Beauty and the Beast pop ups by Robert Sabuda. Publisher: Little Simon October 2010

Beauty and the Beast pop ups by Robert Sabuda. Publisher: Little Simon October 2010

I felt pretty dumb saying to one of my coworkers at the bookstore: “Have you heard of this Robert Sabuda guy? His pop-up books are amazing!” Turns out everyone seems to know who Robert Sabuda is. He is the name in pop-up books. He is Madonna. James Bond. Justin Bieber. Everyone knows who he is upon hearing his name.

Now THAT is a pop-up! From Alice in Wonderland

Now THAT is a pop-up! From Alice in Wonderland

But I first came across one of his books on a trip to the coast. In a maritime museum, this big book jumped out at me, The Little Mermaid on its spine. One of them was a display copy, un-plastic-wrapped, and as I cracked the spine, a huge undersea castle leapt from the page, a good foot tall. The illustrations have a stained glass quality, and the pop-ups are incredible. There is often one big one per page, with small flaps telling the story on the side, their own mini pop-ups hidden within. Sabuda has also done similar treatment to Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Winter’s Tale.

Just one of the pages from A Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros. Publisher: Insight Editions, March 2014

Just one of the pages from A Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros. Publisher: Insight Editions, March 2014

My significant other got not one, but two copies of the Game of Thrones Pop-Up Book two years ago for Christmas. We had it at the bookstore and our display copy was…well worn. The whole book expands into a huge map of the world created within the book series, so you can spread the whole thing out on your floor and have a miniature King’s Landing and off in the distance, an icy replica of The Wall. Great attention was paid to the detail on the castles and landscapes, and descriptions of scenes within the books and each setting are scrawled on each page (just don’t get the crap scared out of you by the White Walker pop-up near the middle – scary guys, those ones.)

The Pop-Up Book of Phobias by Gary Greenberg and Balvis Rubess. Publisher: Rob Weisbach Books, October 1999. I chose not to show you the inside of this one...

The Pop-Up Book of Phobias by Gary Greenberg and Balvis Rubess. Publisher: Rob Weisbach Books, October 1999. I chose not to show you the inside of this one…

And then someone decided it was a good idea to make a pop-up book of phobias. I think the thought process went something like this: Hmmmm…people sure are scared of a lot of things. I know! Let’s make it worse by making those fears jump out at them from the page!

But, if you want a way to terrorize guests flipping through your coffee table books, put The Pop-Up Book of Phobias there. I’m sure the nightmares from the creepy clown faces and a doctor lunging forward with a hypodermic needle will subside eventually (speaking of nightmares, there’s a pop-up book for that, too! Some people just want to watch the world burn…)

So for a pop-up book, you need some space…

Everyone remember the pallet craze? I feel like there were a few solid months where every piece of furniture flickering across my Facebook was made out of wood pallets: headboards, dining room tables, end tables, lamps. 

Pallet Coffee Table. Created here at this blog.

Pallet Coffee Table. Created here at this blog.

They’re certainly big enough for pop-up book purposes. And, if you use the whole pallet, they have built-in cubbies for the books!

Plus, wheels help. You know, so you can move the enormous thing.

How about you, readers? In love with pallet furniture? Have a favorite pop-up book?

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