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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Victoria: Spotlight on Pop-Up Books

This week we'll be turning the spotlight over to Pop-Up Books!  Every kid loves a good pop-up book, right?  Well, it might surprise you to know that the first pop-up books were actually made for adults.  The earliest known pop-up book was created in the 13th century by Ramon Llull of Majorca, a Catalan mystic and poet, to illustrate his philosophical theories.  By the 18th century, pop-up books were primarily used for scholarly material.  Medical pop-up books were particularly popular because the author could show several different parts and layers of the body at once and in relation to everything else.  They were also commonly used for astronomy as well as other scientific areas.
Perhaps it should be noted that the term "pop-up book" may refer to any number of different types of books with moveable parts, such as books with pull tabs, flip tabs, and sliding tabs in addition to the traditional books with popping-out scenes.

It wasn't until the late 18th century that pop-up books were created for entertainment purposes, specifically for children.  The first person to use the term "pop-up book" was publisher Harold Lentz in the United States in the 1930's.

Most pop-up books today are primarily aimed at entertaining children, and though they can sometimes be relatively complicated, the pop-ups are often as simple as a pop-out scene or picture from the book or a pull tab that moves a piece back and forth. 

One of the most notable and recent pop-up books is Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy by Matthew Reinhart.  The book was revered for its complex pop-up illustrations and artistry in a way that most of today's pop-up books are never recognized.  The New York Times even said of the book: "calling this sophisticated piece of engineering a 'pop-up book' is like calling the Great Wall of China a partition."

Now that you know some of the history of the pop-up book, why not pop on down to the shop to see our selection?

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