Pop-up and Flap Books
Full of small pop-ups, booklets, games, pullouts, and other movable elements, this look at math factoids includes quite a bit of information for an introductory book. Although this won’t help anyone with a homework assignment, it will inspire readers to seek more information, and to see math as a “fun” topic to explore. The colorful, busy layout encourages readers to flit from topic to topic, whether it is Fibonacci, Pascal’s Triangle, probabilities, shapes and angles, prime numbers, or tessellation. Because many of the popup elements are delicate, and there are some tear-out portions including two 3-D dice shapes, this may be better suited to a classroom library.
Eleven pairs of animals – “a still sloth…bouncy kangaroo” demonstrate the concept of opposites in this delightful pop-up book. From a fat pig and a thin meercat, to a small ladybug and a big elephant, Horacek features both domestic animals as well as jungle and wild animals. The text only contains the descriptive word and the animal name, making this a very brief and easy to read pop-up book. The full color paintings used for the illustrations depict the animals realistically, not “cute,” combining foldouts and pop-ups, giving the book a dynamic 3-D effect. Because the pop-ups really “pop,” this is unlikely to hold up to library circulation. It would be a great addition to a noncirculating collection of pop-up books, used for storytime or for in-house library use.
In many ways, this book could appeal to adults as well as children, because there is a sophisticated quality to the full color graphics artwork, and a guessing-game element to the book. Each spread is a different city, with a simple two sentence rhyming clue as to its location. There are also small flaps that open, like little doors in an Advent calendar, which reveal more clues. For example, one spread shows Big Ben, a red telephone both, a door that opens on Sherlock Holmes, and a few other clues that help the reader guess this is London. Each spread is done in the same graphic style, but with different details, so it gives a unity to the world and avoids stereotyping. The subtle message that people are the same throughout the world is welcome. There is no answer key but most children old enough to read the text will be able to guess what city or country is depicted, with the flags and signage giving clues. The small flaps and thick pasteboard pages should hold up well to library circulation.
A little girl describes the activities she does with her baby doll, such as bathing her, changing her diaper, and so forth, all in preparation to help her mommy with the new baby. Although there are no true “pop-ups,” there are several tactile elements such as the cloth blanket embedded into the page, and pull tabs that rock the cradle or move the rubber ducky. The pastel shades of the cartoonish illustrations are pleasant, but overall, the tone is very old fashioned. How about reading to the new baby, or doing something other than traditional domestic chores?