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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pop-Ups that Stand Out!

Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda have created an awesome new pop-up book titled Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods and Heroes. Now it's rare that I get too crazy about pop-up books, and most teachers in fact would consider them gimmicky and not really worth their time. But check out the video preview provided at the Candlewick site (be sure to go full screen), and I think you'll agree: this is one really impressive book! Students in the middle grades are really drawn to mythology, so this is one more great rendition that should be added to every classroom library.

Although both Reinhart and Sabuda take credit for authoring and illustrating, it's mostly Sabuda that I know as the "pop-up" guy. Check out his homepage to see some of his more impressive previous works, including Encyclopedia Prehistorica Mega-Beasts Pop-Up, Encyclopedia Mythologica: Fairies and Magical Creatures (both with Reinhart), and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Commemorative Pop-up (a favorite in my classroom, especially with the emerald glasses).

A great extension of any of these books would be for students to create their own pop-ups. Not as easy as it sounds, unless, of course, you have a resource such as Sabuda's own web site which features printable templates for over two dozen pop-ups. Once students get the hang of the physics behind the pop-up, they're likely to invent their own variations. These can serve as great presentation formats for seasonal poetry, short stories, or book reports, or for creating cards for a special occasion.