Pop-Up Books Round Up

Pop-Up Books Round Up

Who doesn’t love a pop-up book? Talk about page turners! Here’s a unique selection of books that focus on what goes into creating pop-ups and movable books. Grab some supplies and get popping!

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Some of these books were written awhile ago, but they still have great content! Let me know if you have a favorite book about Pop-Ups, and I’ll consider adding it to the next Best-of-List.

The Elements of Pop-UP
David Carter and James Diaz, 1999This book literally shows you how to create every aspect of a pop-up, and it’s a pop-up book itself. All sorts of paper engineering feats are exhibited within the pages. Lift a flap, turn a wheel, pull a tab, flip a page and make magic happen! This book is extra special because you can peek ‘behind the pages’ to see how the mechanisms work. Carter and Diaz have created hundreds of pop-up books over the years and have won numerous awards for their ingenuity with paper.

Pop-Up Design and Paper Mechanics

Duncan Birmingham, 2010

This book is aimed at paper engineers at any level. The basic rules of pop-ups are discussed and illustrated, and Birmingham breaks paper engineering down into 18 underlying structures. Problem solving is an integral part of his approach – I find it comforting to know that the author is a real teacher who has discovered most of the mistakes! If you work through the exercises in this book, you are sure to become an expert. There are fourteen project templates in the back of the book to cut out and create that demonstrate how to build complex pop-up designs.

Pop Up: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book

Ruth Wickings, 2010 (illustrated by Frances Castle)
This is a do-it-yourself pop-up book. Punch out perforated shapes that are found on removable pages. Fold and adhere the pieces (double sided tape is already affixed to one side of each piece!) within the corresponding page spreads. Follow the simple directions to create a pop-up robot, dragon, Frankenstein’s lab and a jungle. Along with the instructions, you’ll find suggestions for simple projects to create based on each technique.

The Pocket Paper Engineer

Carol Barton, 2005
This is a paper engineering workbook. There are brief sections about paper engineering, how pop-ups work, and what you need to make pop-ups. The book is tabbed by pop-up type, and you can tear out the pages and create the structures, while the informational pages remain in the book. There are pockets for storing  the pop-ups you create, so the book becomes a comprehensive reference book. Barton produced three volumes. You can also get volume two and volume three.

The Art of Pop-Up: The Magical World of Three Dimensional Books

Jean-Charles Trebbi, 2013
This is more of a history of movable books that continues through the present day. You’ll find a fold-out timeline that begins in 1250 with a volvelle (spinning) structure. Color images portray paper engineering techniques, themes and public/private collections. A sampling of contemporary paper engineers are featured, and there is a section called Beyond the Pop-Up: pop-ups in theater, digital media and education. One pop-out page expands with diagrams for creating some of your own pop-ups, and there are a few unique templates in the back of the book.

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  1. Jane Snell Copes says:

    Great choices!