Pop-up and Flap Books
Sabuda, Robert. The White House: A Pop-Up of Our Nation’s Home. Orchard/Scholastic, 2016. 12p. $29.99. ISBN 978-0-545-54089-6.
Sabuda is best-known for his elaborate, detailed pop-ups in books for older children. In this celebration of the White House, the six spreads depict the North Face exterior, East Room, Lincoln Bedroom, Rose Garden, Oval Office, and the South Lawn exterior. The color palette is dominated by white, gray, and softer colors than he usually employs. Each pop-up depicts that area of the presidential residence, focusing on one main feature: the dramatic chandelier in the East Room, Lincoln’s desk and bed, or the President’s desk in the Oval Office.
The text is relatively minimal compared to other books by Sabuda, which often contain small booklets of text, such as Peter Pan (2008) or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2003). Here, he employs a dual text; there is a narrative describing some of the building and features of the White House, along with a boxed text that is a poem about the house, adapted by Sabuda from “Inauguration Day” by Richard Watson Gilder. Unfortunately, the poem doesn’t really have a significant impact, and the factual text is too brief. We don’t learn about the architect, or the slaves who helped build it, or much about those who worked or lived in the building.
Because the text is so brief, this would work best when paired with a longer nonfiction book on the White House, with Sabuda’s pop-up illustrations adding visuals. Teachers may find this especially useful.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University iSchool