Gift giving can be difficult. But a perfect remedy could be BOOKS. Here are some beautiful, wonderful books that all ages can enjoy unless otherwise indicated.
“Pop-Up” books are extraordinary books that contain surprises, information and joy. By opening these remarkable books you get to enjoy a three dimensional experience and feel as though you are in-between the book. Two of my favorite paper engineers are Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart.
Mr. Sabuda has two new outstanding pop-ups: The White House: A Pop-Up of Our Nation’s Home that has several rooms including Lincoln’s office which transforms into the current bedroom by turning a smaller flap where the desk disappears and out pops the bed.
The Christmas Story retells the Nativity story with six glorious pages. One page features a golden star high above that turns upon opening the page. The last page features the manger scene with an effulgent angel that seems to float above. Sabuda’s trademark of this type of artwork is featured in both of these books: all pages, and the exquisitely finite details, are placed on white paper.
Mr. Reinhart also has two new books: Lego Pop-Up features Reinhart’s specialty of multiple smaller flaps along the pages that also pop-out and are on every page. He has also developed a new technique whereby you pull the main pop-up and another large pop-up appears. There is much to enjoy in this fun and richly colorful book which has some information, comics, humor and storyline.
Frozen: A Pop-Up Adventure is a beautiful display that replicates the popular movie but with inventiveness of pop-out. Reinhart continues his invented pull tabs throughout this gorgeous book. Every page has the muted pale colors of blue and green hues that glisten and glimmer as they pop-out.
Trains: A Pop-Up Railroad Book, by Robert Crowther, is an informative book that demonstrates different types of trains and the bridges and tunnels they travel over and through by popping out. There are steam trains, twins of old and the most current type of train exhibits in this interactive pop-out book.
The rest of these books are wonderful fiction books, and with the exception of the last book, all would be great read aloud books.
The Borrowers, by Mary Norton, and illustrated by the original artists Beth and Joe Krusch, is a compilation of all six classic books embodied into one large hardback book. These stories were originally written back in the early 1950’s and have been reissued several times. But this is the first time they have all been placed into one book. The stories center around a very tiny family who lives under the floorboards in the kitchen of a country house. These tiny people “borrow” items from above to use in their little dwelling, such as a matchbox for a dresser and stamps for artwork hung on the walls. Trouble begins when a boy from above their tiny dwelling discovers them. This book is a delight as well as the drawings sprinkled throughout.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition, by J. K. Rowling and stunningly illustrated by Jim Kay, brings to life the adventures where Dobby, Moaning Myrtle and the introduction by Tom Riddle play an important part. This hardback book is oversized with thicker pages and illustrations that perfectly reflect the story.
The Complete Harry Potter Paperback Book Set, by J. K. Rowling, is exceptional because when you place this rather inexpensive set back to back, there lays the entire “School of Hogwarts”. The books, one through seven, feature a main event colorfully illustrated on each cover. The back of each book exhibits Harry with his back to the viewer with an important turning point in that particular story.
The Complete Adventures of Curious George: 75th Anniversary Edition, by Margret & H. A. Rey, has all seven original stories and artwork by this husband and wife team. You will find Curious George’s map of his world on the end pages as well as an interesting scrapbook of the authors’ lives found at the back. These stories are perfect for ages three through eight.
Edward Eager’s Tale of Magic has recently been reissued in a set of four paperback books. These wonderful classics were originally published in the 1950’s and are about the highly imaginative magical adventures of siblings. The books include one of my favorites, and a perfect read-out-loud: “Half Magic”.
Under Water, Under Earth, by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski, is a very large hardback book that has a flip-side. The book opens to view a double sided illustration packed with information that is labeled and described. The front side is filled with gloriously drawn and colored information below the ocean. On the back side, you learn about deep inside the earth.